Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A roof on your head and the wind at your back!

The local skateboard enthusiasts may soon find that the current skateboard park is more user friendly, thanks to an initiative from Constable Phil Peters, a recent graduate of the RCMP depot in Regina. The constable and a number of concerned youth and parents are hoping to launch a fund raising drive to put up lights and provide a cover over the old Kin Hut location across from the Civic Centre.

The thinking is that by making the park more user friendly the problem areas downtown where skateboarders tend to congregate may clear up a bit. With the rather wet weather that Rupert is known for, the skate board crowd tends to use the Ocean Centre Mall as a kind of covered urban park; the hope is that with improvements to the skateboard park that crew will return to the actual skate park off McBride. More adventurous suggestions call for an expansion of the park providing more flow for the skate board crowd of the city.

The Daily news featured the story as it’s page one headline item in Tuesday’s paper.

Boarders and police want a roof over park to encourage more use to it
By James Vassallo
The Daily News
January 30, 2007
Pages one and three

Local skate boarders are hoping to kick off a new fundraising effort that would see some major renovations to the skate park. The initiative is being helped along by Const. Phil Peters a recent Depot grad looking to make a positive impact on his new community.

”We get a lot of complaints from businesses in the downtown area about all the kids hanging around there,” said Const. Steve Richards, RCMP media liaison and community policing officer.

“Just talking to some of the kids down there, it sounds like the skate park is decent, I guess, but it’s always pouring rain.

“So they’re going to try and raise enough money to put a cover on it and some lights.”

Skate boarders, youth, their parents and supporters are being asked to meet at Charles Hays tonight at 7 p. m, to begin the process of forming a committee and looking at what can be done to improve the area.

“At the meeting, we’re hoping everyone will have a say and we’ll get some good ideas for where to go,” said Marc Page, Loaded Sports.

“Our meeting is going to be to sit down with some people and the community together and come up with a goal.”

Alongside the investigation into a roof and some lighting, Page would like to see some improvements at the skate park that he thinks will also increase local use and encourage some of the city’s youth to move away from the downtown core.

“A lot of the kids tend to skateboard outside of City Furniture at the mall there… during the evening and when it’s raining out because it’s one of the only places for them to go,” he said.

“For me, I’d like to see some modifications. That park has no flow to it. We need to open it up. What I’m thinking will cost a lot of money but I’d like to see it made bigger.”

He notes that the fenced area before the creek could be pushed back to open up the site making it more user friendly.

”It’s very difficult for the kids to have fun there,” said Page
“You might land this super smooth clean trick, but when you land there’s something in the way, there’s another rail or box right there, so you’ve got to … dodge something.”

“Also, when the park was built the kids asked for a six-set and a nine-set which are different heights of stairs, but when they built them they built them the same height just with different size stairs- that’s the kind of stuff that happened, but there’s a lot that can be done.

“I want to throw the idea out there that first we renovate the park and then we put the roof on – it could be fundraised for all at the same time.”

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