BMX star Courage Adams returns to build Lagos’ first BMX Skatepark in new film ‘Encouraged: Building the Future’

Spanish-Nigerian professional BMX freestyle rider Courage Adams, has never forgotten his Nigerian roots. Returning to his birthplace in 2018, he met the Lagos BMX crew and found a vibrant scene yearning for a proper space to hone their skills. Fast forward to 2022, and Courage Adams returned to his roots, driven by a childhood promise to build Lagos’ first skatepark and pave the way for a new generation.

Now, the documentary ‘Encouraged: Building the Future’ premiered on Red Bull TV, capturing Adams’ inspiring journey as he took on this challenge with the strong support of the local BMX community. Adams’ dream project aims to drive progression in Nigerian BMX sports, providing a dedicated space for local talent to thrive and potentially compete globally. “There was no skatepark in Lagos and everyone was just freestyling around the city. This is a dream I have to see before I die.”

The skatepark’s creation was a collaborative effort with significant support from the local BMX community. Adams acknowledges: “Building the skatepark wouldn’t have been possible without their support.” The documentary also highlights Adams’ emotional return to Nigeria, his roots, and the transformative impact BMX and the new skatepark have had on his life. “Miracles and dreams do happen. I came from nothing. I came from zero. The skatepark was the best thing that happened to me in my life.”

Courage Adams has never forgotten his Nigerian roots. At the age of five, Adams left Nigeria and relocated to Spain with his family. His passion for BMX began at 12 in Pamplona, Spain, when a friend introduced him to the sport. Selling his computer games to buy a second-hand bike, Adams quickly rose to prominence, known for his strength, control, and balance. Discovered by flatland rider Viki Gómez, he soon achieved notable success, finishing second in the O Marisquiño contest in Vigo at 16 and winning Street Line Montpellier two years later.

In 2020, Adams made an emotional return to Nigeria, documented in the first ‘Encouraged’ film. This trip allowed him to reconnect with his heritage and family in Benin City. Adams shared meals and demonstrated his BMX skills to relatives who previously knew little about his career. “Visiting my family and my old home was really important for me. Some of my family members don’t fully understand what I do, so to show them BMX is really important,” Adams said.

‘Encouraged: Building the Future’ is a sequel to the original ‘Encouraged’ documentary, where Adams explored his roots in Nigeria and promised to build a skatepark for local riders. Reflecting on the project, Adams said, “There was no skatepark in Lagos and everyone was just freestyling around the city. I hope the new skatepark will help the local BMX community and drive progression into the sports. This is a dream I have to see before I die.”

The 40-minute documentary follows the construction of the skatepark, its impact on the local BMX community, and hopes for the future. Adams expressed, “In the future, having professional BMX athletes from Nigeria would open many opportunities. Seeing them compete at The Olympics and living their dream would be something really incredible. When I was here last, I saw the raw talent these athletes developed with minimal resources. And I can really say that they are strong, they are brave, and full of positive energy. Building the skatepark wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”

Ramp-building maestro Ryan Corrigan from Austin, Texas, joined forces with UK-based rail specialist Roscoe Siebers. Riding legends Fids from the UK and Brooklyn’s Pauly Cvikevich also joined the project, each bringing their expertise and passion for the sport. “I came from nothing… having a skatepark gave me everything. I remember that when I was a kid I used to spend 24-7 learning tricks with all my best friends. Having a skatepark was the best thing that happened to me in my whole life,” said Adams.

Not content with just building Nigeria’s first skatepark, the international team also aimed to share their knowledge and skills by teaching the Lagos BMX crew the finer points of ramp construction, giving them ownership of the project. Their dedication was apparent when some of the crew pitched tents at the skatepark, wanting to be there as much as possible to help with the build. “As the days went on, it’s amazing how fast they picked it up,” scene legend Fids enthused.

Despite the hurdles and a timeframe of just two weeks to complete, dedication and perseverance prevailed. Within days, the skeleton of the park was taking shape, a testament to the collective spirit. But this was just the first step. “The job is harder than most people anticipate,” said Corrigan, the lead ramp builder. The meticulous work of perfecting the ramps remained, but with its completion, Nigeria’s first official BMX park would unlock a world of possibilities for riders across the country and for generations to come.

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