Carb­n­ear kids need safe skate­board park

The Compass - - OPINION -

Dear ed­i­tor,

I would just like to ex­press my frus­tra­tion with some coun­cil­lors and busi­ness peo­ple here in Carbonear.

Over the past few weeks a pe­ti­tion has been cir­cu­lat­ing for a skate park for the town. For the most part the re­sponse has been pos­i­tive. But there have been a few com­ments made that I be­lieve need ad­dress­ing.

One coun­cilor/busi­nessper­son when asked if they would help with the pe­ti­tion flatly re­fused and added that they ( Skate­board­ers) were wast­ing their time and they should give up.

I would think get­ting young peo­ple in­volved in any com­mu­nity project would be en­cour­aged. Th­ese kids are our fu­ture and we need to get them in­volved in what goes on in our town. We should give them a help­ing hand to achieve their goals, or maybe come to some com­pro­mise. In­stead of telling them no, would it not be wiser for the per­son to praise them for get­ting in­volved and maybe give some ad­vice on how to achieve their goal.

An­other com­ment made was to the ef­fect: “they al­ready got one (skate park) and they don’t use it.”

My re­ply to that is if it had been built right in the beginning with a proper lay­out and it gave the kids a chal­lenge it would be used.

Now some­one is go­ing to say Coun­cil spent x amount of dol­lars on the park al­ready and they didn’t use it.

Again I say with proper lay­out it would be uti­lized. In com­par­i­son, just be­cause some­one goes out and buys top of the line parts for their car doesn’t mean they are qual­i­fied to in­stall them. There­fore ask the skaters what they need. What will it take to get them to use the park? Also con­crete forms are hard to steal.

Skate­board­ers agree there is al­ready a skate park in Carbonear lo­cated next to the pool. The park in­cluded a num­ber of ramps, which have since be­come dam­aged and or re­moved from the site, which leaves only a long stretch of pave­ment and one hip (skate­board equip­ment) to use. There­fore skaters have re­sorted to us­ing pub­lic places to prac­tice their sport. Yes it is a sport. It is even ru­mored it will some­day be­come an Olympic event. Skaters us­ing th­ese premises af­fect ev­ery busi­ness with pave­ment, curbs or stairs.

Al­though the in­stal­la­tion of an im­proved skate park does not guar­an­tee they will stay away from th­ese busi­nesses, it should cut back dras­ti­cally on the amount of time they spend there.

Carbonear should take a page from the City of St. John’s and sur­round­ing ar­eas, which cur­rently have five skate parks. Four smaller parks are lo­cated at Bowring Park, Kil­bride Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, Goulds, and Shea Heights Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. The largest, the Ro­tary Club is op­er­at­ing on Mundy Pond Road. This park fea­tures: 3-ft bowl trans­fer­ring to multi height 6-8 ft. bowl with ex­ten­sions, es­ca­la­tors and hips. It has small, medium and large banks with rails, hub­bas and flat ledges. It also in­cludes a mas- sive set of stairs, tons of step-ups, trans­fers, gaps, rails, and ledges.

Carbonear has skaters rang­ing from age 5 to 18. So I am sure there are enough skaters in this area to war­rant a park. Skaters would gladly in­cor­po­rate some of the above-men­tioned items into the park by the pool.

Lets give th­ese kids a place to skate safely and where they are chal­lenged without hav­ing to use park­ing lots.

Prime Min­is­ter Stephan Harper has made gov­ern­ment grants avail­able un­der Recre­ational In­fra­struc­ture Canada.

Maybe th­ese kids could learn some­thing about the process of pol­i­tics at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

If you are a busi­ness af­fected by skate­board­ers maybe you should step up and help find a so­lu­tion. The YES Pro­gram is lend­ing their time and ad­vice to help th­ese kids. If you can do­nate time, ideas or sug­ges­tions for a pos­i­tive so­lu­tion let them know.

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