Teens pull to­gether

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Youth from the skate park have come for­ward with more than $ 4000 to go to­wards the com­ple­tion of the park’s up­grade.

Over the last few months, the young peo­ple have raised the money through sausage siz­zles, raf­fles and col­lect­ing scrap metal.

A skate com­pe­ti­tion held last Christ­mas and a col­lec­tion at the funeral of teenager Zak Lang helped take the to­tal to $4320.

Some of the money will help fund a plaque in mem­ory of Zak.

Youth co-or­di­na­tor Jono Bay said a lot of pres­sure had been put on youth to help fund the skate park and they had worked hard to make it hap­pen.

‘‘Ev­ery­one’s re­ally stoked,’’ he said. ‘‘To raise over four thou­sand is pretty awe­some.’’

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil com­mit­ted $50,000 to the project with a fur­ther $20,000 com­ing from Mata­mata Rotary and $10,000 from pri­vate spon­sor­ship.

Rotary pres­i­dent Graeme Guil­ford was im­pressed with the level of com­mit­ment the skate park users had shown.

‘‘A lot of time and hard work has gone into rais­ing that money,’’ he said.

‘‘ It’s great to see them get in­volved and take own­er­ship be­cause they are the ones that use it,’’ Mr Guil­ford said.

Many peo­ple had shown sup­port for the up­grade, in­clud­ing Zak Lang’s fam­ily, Rotary, Mata­mata Lions, New World, Count- down, Starfish, Mata­mata Youth United, and Ross and Jono Bay.

The new ex­ten­sion was expected to open on Oc­to­ber 6.

Mas­sive ef­fort: Eli Hughes, 16, hands over a cheque to Rotary pres­i­dent Graeme Guil­ford on be­half of the skate park youth. Also pic­tured are Dal­las Mat­tock, 13, An­dre Hughes, 14, and youth co-or­di­na­tor Jono Bay.

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