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Jesse Bust (16) from Geldrop is a familiar face at urban sports center Area51 in Eindhoven, which has undergone a metamorphosis thanks to Region Deal Brainport Eindhoven. He walked in as a nine-year-old boy with his stunt scooter. By now he is an experienced stunt stepper. He teaches and competes. 'I'm here as much as possible, at least four times a week. Fortunately, my school, SintLucas, is right around the corner.'
'I started stunt stepping at a job nearby. I met people there who said: come with me to Area51. I immediately loved it here. The atmosphere is super. Everyone helps each other, even if you're just starting out. The other people who work here are not colleagues, but friends.'
Jesse is very happy with the renovation of the skate hall at Strijp-S. 'The new job took some getting used to, but in a positive way. It has become much better. There used to be two separate areas, one for the skaters and the other for the steppers and BMX'ers. Now the track is much bigger, with many more options. It's still surprising to step or skate here, even if you come here very often, like me. He points, "See those high ramps? Those are a real challenge for me, too. It never gets boring, everyone can get going here at their own level.'
The renovation has brought more benefits. 'We have become much more one group here. I used to not know the skaters here, now I do. This is very good for the development of urban culture in Eindhoven, which has grown enormously. Urban culture really is impossible to imagine Eindhoven without.'
During renovations in 2020 and 2021, Jesse waited impatiently for the doors to reopen. For he already had a fine prospect. "Before the doors closed, they had asked if I wanted to come teach after the renovation. I really wanted to. Before, I was still too young. By the way, those nine-year-olds today are much better than I was at that age!'