Annual Washington BMX and skateboard contest set to return in memory of Wearside teenager

Washington's Princess Anne Park was the venue for the last tournament for skateboarders and BMXs, held in memory of Shane Sloan. Organiser Caron Heatherington at the skatepark venue.

Washington's Princess Anne Park was the venue for the last tournament for skateboarders and BMXs, held in memory of Shane Sloan. Organiser Caron Heatherington at the skatepark venue.

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Wheels are in motion for the return of an annual memorial event for a tragic Wearside teenager.

The Shane ‘Shorty’ Sloan Memorial Competition will be held in Washington this month with skateboarders, BMX bikers and scooter riders going head to head for prizes.

Shane Sloan.

Shane Sloan.

Shane, 18, from Penshaw, had only just passed his driving test when his Citroen Saxo hit a lamppost in Mount Pleasant, Washington in May 2011.

Friends of Shane, known as Shorty, were following him in cars behind.

The former Biddick Academy pupil was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital with serious head injuries, but died after a five-day battle for life.

Shane was a huge skateboard and BMX fan and visited the Princess Anne skate park in Washington on an almost daily basis.

We feel this is a perfect tribute to our wonderful son

Caron Hetherington

Mum Caron Hetherington set up the competition, which will take place in the skate park he loved, as a fitting memorial to her son.

She said Shane, who was training to be a mechanic, loved being on his skateboard and riding his bike.

The fourth annual event will be held on Saturday, June 20, and people are being urged to go along and take part, or just support it by watching the riders.

This year there will also be a display by a team from the Override Skate Park in South Shields.

Young people taking part in a previous Shane Sloan memorial event.

Young people taking part in a previous Shane Sloan memorial event.

Caron, 51, said: “Having the competition has definitely helped me, it is something to focus on and helps keep Shane’s memory alive.

“We feel this is a perfect tribute to our wonderful son.

“It is also something for the kids to do and it has been really, really popular. Last year we had children as young as three taking part, they were only learning, but loved it.”

People of all ages are welcome to take part and competitions are split up into over 10s and under 10s.

All the youngsters get a medal for taking part and there are trophies and spot prizes throughout the day. There will also be a raffle, with the first prize a £300 BMX bike.

The event at the Princess Anne Park, near The Galleries in Washington, will start at noon, but competitors are urged to get there for 11.30am to register.