Oxfordshire skateboarders are hoping that 13-year-old Sky Brown’s Olympic medal success in Tokyo will lead to a fresh boom in the sport.

But they have a role model who is even closer to home.

British skating legend Tom Penny grew up in Abingdon but went on to conquer the US skate scene, landing never-seen-before tricks with ease and confidence that made even hardened American skate watchers sit up and take notice.

Mr Penny, 44, began skateboarding with his friends at an early age in Oxford – and in those days with no magazines, DVDs or YouTube to influence him he developed his own unique style.

Mr Penny, who now lives in the US, recalled: “When I first started skateboarding in Oxford, there were not so many skateboarders—there were just a few skateboarders that I grew up with.

“There were no magazines, no skate shop, and we had no vision of the outside world of skateboarding so people who influenced me when I was younger, growing up, would be the friends that I grew up skateboarding with: Justin Parker, Erin Chalice, Pete Crucioli and Thomas Kilpatrick.”

Oxford Mail: Skateboarding in Oxford. Pic Panzo

While still a pupil at the Dragon School he began popping up in skateboard magazines and videos and was spotted by Oxford professional skateboarder Sean Goff.

Mr Goff was the co-owner of Cowley Road skateshop SS20 and added Mr Penny to the shop team.

Xavier Ball of Oxford Skate Co said: “We are all huge fans of Tom Penny, we are also fans of Sean Goff and Alex Moul, both of whom are from Oxford, and who like Tom have inspired generations of skaters here in Oxford.

He added: “Hopefully Sky Brown winning a bronze medal helps build momentum for skateboarding in Oxford, but the last couple of years has already seen a huge number of people - young, old, male and female - take up skateboarding in the city.

“The Oxford Wheels Project has done wonderful work for years. And groups such as Girl Skate Oxford are pushing boundaries.”

Oxford Mail: The SkateBoarder Sean Goff at the Botley Skate Bowl. .09.05.1991.

Sean Goff at the Botley Skate Bowl in 1991

Jack Richens of the Oxford Wheels Project added: "There has been a huge surge in interest since the Olympics, particularly in Girls BMX which is fantastic.

"We've been running BMX coaching sessions at the park on Saturdays and we've had lots of enquires this week.

"Oxford has a pretty strong girl skate scene and Sky Brown's performance has really galvanised the movement.

"With the huge success of girls BMX and skating in the Olympics we're really excited that projects around Oxford to provide wheeled sports facilties will get the support and funding they need."

Mr Ball agreed that what Oxford now needs are better and more parks.

He said: “Sky’s success is certain to inspire girls to skate and to believe that anything is possible. In a way what she is doing is changing the attitude of parents. Most people’s perception of skateboarding is that it’s just young men causing a nuisance on the streets, but skateboarding is so much more than that.

“The most powerful part of skateboarding that is that anyone can do it, it’s accessible. You just need a board and you can skate anywhere where there’s a bit of concrete.”