Do you think Orkney’s Skatepark could do with a bit of a makeover and perhaps a few improvements? Do you think it could appeal to a wider group of users?
Leah Moodie thinks so and she brought some of her ideas to a public meeting on Thursday 11th of July at the Youth Cafe in Kirkwall.
About 10 people attended this first meeting to gauge interest in taking forward a redevelopment of the Skatepark.
Facilitated by OIC Community Learning Officer, Walter Gorman, who described the history of the present Skatepark and how it came to be built from an idea in 1993 through years of planning and fundraising to opening in 2005.
Leah would like to encourage more use of the Skatepark and make it a safer place.
Currently there are loose stones and cracks appearing which can make it unpleasant if users come off bikes or skateboards. Indeed some parts have to be avoided.
Leah explained that Skateboarding is an activity that an individual can do – you do not need to join a team so that it appeals to people who might not like those kind of group sports.
She feels that developing the park we have now would bring more attention to all wheeled sports in Orkney – bikes,skateboards, skates. Orkney’s own Roller Derby Team the ViQueens were represented at the meeting and are keen to support a future project.
There were lots of ideas being aired at the meeting which was the start of the process. The meeting was reminded that there are Indoor Skateboard ramps which are currently underused and these could also be brought out to be utilised more.
At the next meeting, Thursday 1st of August, 7.30pm, at Kirkwall Youth Cafe it is intended to take the project forward by setting up a committee and agreeing on a constitution.
Many readers will remember when the Skatepark first opened in 2005 at a total cost of £104,639.10. The project was helped immensely by using a local contractor, Heddle Construction. Bringing in a construction company from outwith Orkney would have added greatly to the costs.
It had taken a great deal of effort by folk then and it has served Kirkwall and Orkney well. Now, however, it is showing its age and needs a bit of care and attention. A makeover with new features would also boost it as a facility. New features might include a small bowl, stairs, ramps, more street sections, art and areas suitable for lower levels of ability.
This is Shetland’s Skatepark. It opened on the 17th of May 2014.
Constructed by Wheelscape who described it as:
The Street course has many popular skatepark features; Stairs, Ledges, Handrails, mixed in with some more interesting obstacles such as the triangular hubba ledge/manual pad with wallie ends. This leads down to an open bowl with hips and a volcano going in and out of it giving a transition element and making this a well-rounded design.
You can follow the campaign by clicking on the Facebook page: Orkney Wheeled Sports Club
And if you can, come to the meeting on 1st of August and let’s give Orkney yet another top grade facility to keep folk healthy and happy.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame