Help us raise money to build a new Skatepark & a Pump track in Freshwater.
Freshwater Parish Council recently approved a plan to build a new Skatepark and a Pump Track at Stroud.
Background and Context
Freshwater skatepark is coming to the end of its life with repairs and upkeep becoming increasingly costly. The current skatepark has served its purpose and has always been popular, but its design and location doesn’t fit with current thinking. The proposal is to build something that has a long life, is sympathetic in design to its surroundings, an asset to the community and something for all riders and ages to enjoy. The design of the park must be challenging for the most proficient riders but also have an area for beginners and small children.
A Valuable Asset for the Community
The design of the park will accommodate all riders (Skateboard, Scooter, Bikes, Roller skate, Rollerblade, and wheelchairs etc), have a long life and be attractive and welcoming to all. With careful landscaping and planting we will create a park where families can have a picnic, where people want to come and spend time to watch, will participate or both. Investment in the younger generation is an investment for the future of our community.
Pump tracks are relatively simple to use, cheap to construct, and cater to a wide variety of rider skill levels. The IOW does not have a Pump Track, so this would be the very first one. A Pump Track in the West Wight would attract interest from right across the Island and a great asset for West Wight tourism.
Concrete skateparks have been around since the early days of skateboarding and Southsea skatepark built in 1978 is still in situ today. Today’s concrete designs are built to last for generations of tough, punishing use within landscaped settings that integrate social, architectural, and environmental demands too.
Skateboarding made its debut as an Olympic sport at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in 2021. Britain’s Sky Brown is smashing the skateboarding world and beating adults. At the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Sky was Britain's youngest ever summer Olympian and came home with the bronze medal. I February Sky Brown became the UK’s youngest World Champion. Skateboarding has become hugely popular in recent years, and the Pandemic has seen many more people take up skateboarding or start skating again. The Tokyo Olympics also saw Great Britain's Beth Shriever win the gold medal in the women's BMX park. Her victory came minutes after Team GB's Kye Whyte won silver in the men's competition.
The West Wight has a rising skateboard star in Martha Eggleton who learned to skate aged just five. Martha must travel to compete and train on the mainland as there aren’t the facilities here on the Island. Martha is now competing at a National level being selected to take part in the SkateboardGB National Championships. Martha is passionate about skateboarding and a great ambassador for the sport. Local Freshwater lad Joe Crockett recently finished 4th in the world in Junior Scootering Park at the World Skate Games held in Buenos Aries, Argentina. Freshwater Parish Council helped Joe with funding for his trip to Argentina but Joe must also travel to the mainland to compete and train as facilities here on the Island are lacking.
Recent figures published by SkateboardGB show a huge growth in the popularity of skateboarding since the start of the pandemic, with a rise of over 70,000 people in the UK participating in the sport, with the largest growth being with females getting on a board for the first time.
Health Benefits – Physical and Mental
Skateboarding is great exercise, as you use most parts of your body to skate. You can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. As well as providing great cardio exercise, skateboarding is great for balance, toning muscle and aids in coordination. Skateboarding also aids social development through peer-to-peer skill acquisition and creativity, and the arts of cooperation, negotiation and compromise are learnt informally, in contrast to the structured rules of organised sports.
Skateboarding is good for your Mental health and well-being. Figures have shown a growth in anxiety owing to the pandemic. Skateboarding is also great for building self-esteem, social competence, and respect for others.
SkateboardGB’s state that research has shown a striking correlation between people who skate and their improved mental health. Skateboarding can reduce stress and boredom, increase confidence, provide escapism and help people use skateboarding as a coping mechanism for their emotions.
Reduction in Anti-social behaviour
With new skateparks being built around the Country by local Councils it has been reported that anti-social behaviour has reduced at these locations.
As reported by 'Street Patrol UK' on BBC1, Inspector Les Fry stated that the new Skatepark in Dorchester has contributed to a drop in anti-social behaviour by 45%. Dorchester Section Commander, said:
“This reduction is a tremendous result for the town and shows the real value of having such a good facility for young people."
“The Park is the place to go, either to take part or just to sit and watch. The young people are extremely good at policing it themselves and looking after the younger and less experienced park users. Data shows that the park has had a positive impact and is not just a short-lived flash in the pan.
“Reported anti-social behaviour is down compared to the three previous years’ statistics and the trend is continuing. It’s great.”
The BBC also report “A new urban sports park in Anglesey is 'vital' in reducing anti-social behaviour”, according to the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones. "The Skate Park has already proven its worth in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour by providing a worthwhile diversionary activity."
The growing need for autonomy during adolescence and increasing socialisation encourage teenagers to spend more time away from home, but where can they go? One of the prevalent oppositions to skate parks does not relate to skating per se, but rather to the fact that they are venues where young people “hang out”, with skate parks often doubling an informal space where skating and non-skating youths congregate. “Hanging-out” is sometimes frowned upon by members of the broader community who believe it is an unproductive pursuit and encourages antisocial behaviour. Despite this perception, “hanging-out” is an important part of adolescent social development.
Freshwater Parish Council have awarded the tender to Gravity Skateparks Ltd who are one of the top skatepark designers/builders in the country. Designs are being finalised with input from local riders and hope to go to planning in the next few weeks. The total cost for the build of the park is £240K. Freshwater Parish Council are investing £120K into the project and are now looking at all avenues of Community Fundraising to try and match the funding from the Parish. We are looking at Grants, Fund Raising, Sponsorship and Advertising.
We are looking for a major sponsor of the Skatepark through a financial donation or through gifting of materials.
We would like to ask that you consider supporting this project in any way you can. We are looking for financial support via donations, sponsorship, and possible advertising and looking for anyone that can help with the use of machinery and materials for the project.