Skate park grows in popularity

2017-08-01 06:00
The popular skate park has hosted four competitions and gained some sponsorship.

The popular skate park has hosted four competitions and gained some sponsorship.

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A safe space for local youth is growing beyond its humble start as a pop-up skate park.

Longbeach Mall management had wanted a skate park on site for some time, says the shopping centre’s marketing manager Janine Davidson, “as the youth of the valley need somewhere they can skate ­safely”.

“We also know there is a serious need for entertainment in the valley. We tried getting something off the ground a few years ago with not much success. Then, mid-2016 Raul Palheta and Erin Green of Luar Skateboarding approached us about setting up a few ramps in the back parking area, near the medical centre, that they would manage. I guess you could say it started as a pop-up skate park,” she says.

Although still small, the park is growing and now has a few portable ramps and rails which Palheta installed and maintains.

The shopping centre has now started discussions to install a half pike and have the park formalised, says Davidson.

“The response has been amazing. The park is drawing children, teens and even adults from all over the valley and we have some serious talent here. Parents have approached us on numerous occasions to tell us how much their children enjoy coming to skate here with Raul. The mall also offers protection and has a security camera that keeps an eye on the goings on. We are very strict about drugs and alcohol coming onto our property and we really want this skate park to be a safe and fun environment for everyone,” she says.

The park has already hosted four competitions and gathered sponsorship from local businesses such as the Pole Yard and Hemporium, Davidson says.

“We have also noticed how the park is growing and gaining quite a following, come rain or shine.”

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