Skateboarders seeking a park swing into action
Front Street will be transformed into a skate park this weekend in an effort to bolster support for the creation of a dedicated park.
Adrian Kawaley-Lathan, of the Bermuda Urban Park Association, said Saturday’s Gr8 2 Sk8 Fun Day hopes to bring together the Island skateboarding and BMXing community and demonstrate the value of the proposed park on Canal Road.
“These children are screaming for it,” Mr Kawaley-Lathan said. “If you are thinking about developing your nation in any positive way, and young people are saying there’s something healthy and positive and outdoors and skills based that they want to do, you want to start listening.
“When you see positive things happen, you want to encourage more positive things to happen. That’s what we are all about, and that’s why we’re involved.”
In recent years there have been several efforts made to build a skate park on the Island, he said. Two years ago Mr Kawaley-Lathan helped the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs organise the Youth Culture Festival with a similar focus.
The event drew hundreds of people to Bulls Head Car Park for skateboarding, freerunning, BMXing and a series of workshops in those activities.
He said the event helped to convince the Corporation to lease out the unused land at 88 Canal Road for the construction of a ‘skate plaza’ style urban park, nicknamed Project 88.
“A whole bunch of people have been working very hard to make it happen,” Mr Kawaley-Lathan said.
“They founded the charity, they got a lease. They went through planning, so we have the designs and we have planning permission. Now we need the money.”
He estimated that the construction of the facility would cost around $200,000, but maintenance and operations costs would increase the amount required.
“I would say if we can get $300,000, that puts us at a really comfortable place where we can talk about flying in experts from overseas to really develop the community here,” he said.
He described the event on Saturday as both an awareness raiser and a means of gauging the public interest in the project.
“It’s opportunity to get together as many skateboarders as possible,” he said. “There are people from all schools, from all different backgrounds, so it’s about getting this team together to build this park.
“I’m inviting all Government Ministers to be there, I’m inviting the Mayor to be there. Senators, parents, and anyone interested in the future development of our young people, just show up and have a look.”
In addition to skateboarders and BMXers, Mr Kawaley-Lathan said the free event will feature music by youth DJs, with the assistance of Soulfood Promotions and Chewstick, and a number of vendors and a raffle.
“It’s going to be a big party on Front Street,” he said. “There’s going to be live music, there’s going to be vendors, there’s going to be skateboarders, so hopefully we will have people flowing through.
“We are bringing out our ramps, we are bringing out our rails. We are going to be skating around and having an amazing time.”
The event will run from 2pm to 8pm at Hamilton’s Number Five Shed.
Useful website: www.skatebermuda.net.