Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wheeled sports at Preston Park

The first consultation with probable users of the proposed skate park was today.  For the first time this month the weather was spring like, which was just as well considering the amount of kit set up outside and the number of people of all ages watching the demonstrations.  Lots of young people tried out the jumps themselves, at times perhaps surprising themselves at what they could achieve.

It's about 20 years since I first became aware of a desire in Eaglescliffe for such a place, and it's taken a long time and a lot of personnel changes at Stockton Council for it to be taken seriously.  For too long we were told that skate boarding or BMX was only a passing fad.  Patience is a virtue we're told.  We've certainly been able to practice!

The skills that these young people demonstrated today have to be seen to be believed - not just amazing physical strength, courage and coordination but sharing, cooperation, courtesy, helping those less skilled.  All really useful skills for life.  As one mum of 4 young boys said, it's so much better for them than spending all day with computer games.

And one 80 year old said she wished they had something like that where she lives because she so much enjoyed watching them.
The next stage is to get some proposed designs from skate park builders and to let people see them and comment on them, before one is chosen and the building starts.  This time next year we'll be looking forward to the opening.

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