The minute she sets foot in the skate park, she is met with high fives and people running up to her to say hi. She wouldn’t have it any other way – the people are why she comes back time and time again.
Sallie has been visiting the skate park for over 20 years now, and has seen the evolution from when it was Chaffers Park to present day.
“I go on any sunny day. Sometimes when it’s really really heavy rain I stay home. If it’s light rain I put my jacket on,” Sallie says.
Sallie has Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental and learning disabilities. She is the eldest of four, and her love for skateboarding is shared with all her siblings. Her two younger brothers, Harry and Tom, have had a huge impact on the Skate community in Wellington.
Tom was behind the fundraising for Treetops Skate Park in Newtown, which allowed it to have renovations and new obstacles in place. Harry is a well known photographer, artist and skateboarder.
Skateboarding is also a huge influence in Sallie’s art – she is well known for her colourful and creative work, which has recently been showing on the light boxes on Courtney Place. She draws inspiration from the people around her – a lot of the portraits in her recent exhibition are of her friends who are local skateboarders.
“I come to the park, then go to Harry’s house every Tuesday night, and have dinner and draw,” says Sallie.