Futures looking bright for skateboarders.
Over the last five years, skateboarding has increased dramatically
in its popularity, five years ago you would have struggled to see a skateboarder in town, now it seems there everywhere. Sefton council has
realized that they cannot ignore the sport forever and has recently agreed to build a public skate park, this should give people who are interest in skateboarding and others the chance to go somewhere were they can enjoy there sport. At present, the sport has been accused of damaging the town's public property and has thrust the skaters into much controversy as this underground sport has become increasingly popular. Even when Southport had a park it was not maintained properly and the result has a bad press. Skateboarding is not mindless vandalism; it is an art that in Southport has for so long neglected. Only a few mouths back Southport Council was looking at having an Ice Skating rink for Southport over the Christmas Festivities, on Lord Street with Tasin Sear (Women's Figure Ice Skating Champion 1999). <See old news for more info.> This is not far off what
rollerbladers do and also snow borders are very close to what us skate boarders do, so what the problem in providing facilities for skaters who don't need snow? There has been talk of a skatepark in Southport for as long as I remember normally just rambling and rumours. Now, our prayers have been answered…! Sefton MBC has finally agreed to build us our much needed park so we can practice it safely and with out being a problem to others.
I myself have been a skateboarded for the last five years; I have watched the sport grow to new and exciting levels of popularity. Skateboarding seems to have started to show its full colours with in the sporting world. No longer is it a hobby in some parts of the world like in the USA the sport is now on TV. The sport now attracts highly paid athletes performing stunts and competing, as you get in Ice Skating! In the UK, how ever we have professional skaters but not to the same level as some parts of the world and that is a
shame. However it is in the UK one of the most popular none competitive sports of all time. The park will act as a forum for skaters and keeps people of the streets. It will be a good place for people to let of steam in a no-destructive way.
I think that the skate park is a good first step, but from a skaters point of view I think there may be problems: the park is quite small and on weekends and holidays when the park is full of kids witch would put strain on the park of this size. The park lie most of its type can only have so many people on it at once. In addition, when it is wet, skaters will try to find dry places to skate as rain makes it impossible. We are living in a country renounced for its rain, surly it would be a good idea to also build at a later date an indoor park? Nevertheless, we are just grateful to Sefton for the out door park, as it is a productive first step to solving the towns skating problems.
The problem facing us is still one of the sheer size of interest in the sport, and the mega age differences with in the skating community. The park no matter how good it is as a fist step is still to small and it would be very unrealistic to think that just because we have a park now that skateboarding in the town will die out all together. The next step as I said would be to get an indoor place and a bigger park. I think Sefton is starting to see the light, but before we see huge improvements in the attitude of skaters in the town, we need to make them feel a part of the community. Sefton is now doing this and all of us skaters have to say,
"Thank you for lessoning and working with us. We hope this continues on both sides… ours and yours." Who knows in a few years time we might be holding an international event, here in Sunny Southport…
On Saturday the Sk8, who are the skater's pressure group were out in force in Southport's Art
Center to show off the plans of the new park. One of them took our editor down to the site to see for him self the location of the park.
Article skate boarder
photographs by Nick Brown. Photographs of consultation in arts
canter by our editor.
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