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Memories of a skateboarder's haven in Margaret Drive

In a tiny corner of Queenstown, an unusual skateboarding scene thrived from the early 90's to 2011. The Go Sports Skate Shop at Block 6C Margaret Drive was a legendary skate spot, where generations of skateboarders came and went.
By the time I started skating there in the mid-2000s, the open space in front of Go Sports had famously become a full-on mini skatepark, equipped with ramps, rails and boxes, all built by shop owner Eddie Goh.
By the time I started skating there in the mid-2000s, the open space in front of Go Sports had famously become a full-on mini skatepark, equipped with ramps, rails and boxes, all built by shop owner Eddie Goh. ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
Some of the skaters in front of the shop’s iconic sign in 1994. Set up in 1985, three years before I was born, Go Sports had become one of the go-to places for skate supplies during an era when skateboarding was still considered a rebellious subcul
Some of the skaters in front of the shop’s iconic sign in 1994. Set up in 1985, three years before I was born, Go Sports had become one of the go-to places for skate supplies during an era when skateboarding was still considered a rebellious subculture. PHOTO: COURTESY OF EDDIE GOH
Last year, renowned skate brand Chocolate worked with longstanding skate shops around the world, including a collaboration with Go Sports, to recognise its years of patronage and iconic location in Margaret Drive. The building was put up for redevelo
Last year, renowned skate brand Chocolate worked with longstanding skate shops around the world, including a collaboration with Go Sports, to recognise its years of patronage and iconic location in Margaret Drive. The building was put up for redevelopment in 2011. Owner Eddie Goh (above) now runs a shop at Scape in Orchard Link.
Go Sports was located at Block 6C Margaret Drive, along with a clinic, a provision shop and a music jamming studio. What made Go Sports unique was the relationship between residents and the skateboarders. The older folk from the 16-storey block did n
Go Sports was located at Block 6C Margaret Drive, along with a clinic, a provision shop and a music jamming studio. What made Go Sports unique was the relationship between residents and the skateboarders. The older folk from the 16-storey block did not mind the noise created by the skaters and would come down in the evenings for a “free show”.

Most of my teen years - some of the best times of my life - were spent at the Go Sports skate shop at Block 6C Margaret Drive which was opened by the legendary long-haired owner Eddie Goh in 1985.

I picked up skateboarding as a 14-year-old in 2002, leading to countless days spent fooling around at the open space outside the shop which had become a makeshift skatepark over the years.

I would keep my shoes and board there and head over to skate after school.

Block 6C was one of a kind. There was an irate resident who would often hurl plastic bags of urine and chairs at the skaters from his flat.

But most of the residents had grown accustomed to the noise we skaters made. Even the elderly folk came down in the evenings for a "free show".

There was a clinic next to the shop so its patients provided a captive audience as they waited to see the doctor.

It was my idea of heaven for years - this impromptu skatepark fitted with ramps, rails and grind boxes, all constructed by Mr Goh himself, who embraced the do-it-yourself ethos.


Beyond opening hours, the space had become a haven for us. We would spend days practising, hanging out and fooling around. Some of my skate buddies have become my closest friends.

I was part of the last generation of skaters at Go Sports, which called it a day when the building was put up for redevelopment in 2011. My skate buddies have since become some of my closest friends.

 

Mr Goh, who has since moved his shop to Scape in Orchard Link, sums it up best: "Today, you can never find a location like Margaret Drive, where you could skate, put your ramps, hang out the whole day and not be chased away."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Memories of a skateboarder's haven in Margaret Drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe