December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
It has been a bit of a grind, but after years planning and fund-raising Sheringham’s new state of the art skatepark is open and hosting high energy action.
Youngsters are enjoying the ramps, steps and bowls - and even a chance to board a boat - at the new £150,000 facility.
And now the aim is to get enough competitive skaters to take part in a league against other “professional” standard parks.
The new concrete structure replaces a former wooden one on the site at the Splash complex car park on Weybourne Road.
It had been there since 1999, but had worn out through use and weather, so efforts to replace it with a more permanent one began seven years ago, said Sheringham Skate Project chairman Rob Sayles.
The plans were drawn up after consultation with youngsters, and include a boat called HMS Gnar, set in a sea of ramps, slopes, banks steps and half pipes. Skaters can take off and “grind” along the gunwhales of the boat, which was added to capture the town’s seafaring flavour.
Funds were raised through a variety of grants including two of £50,000 from the National Lottery and Sport England, topped up with local money raising.
After a shut down of more than two months to knock down the old park and fashion the new one, skaters were now back in action, and raving about the new facility he said.
“They are really enjoying it, and we have got parents saying their youngsters who are normally indoors in front of their computer games this time of year, are spending all their time down here in the fresh air - which is great, and what it is all about,” he added.
Numbers of skaters had soared from 50 to 200 over the years, and it was now hoped to attract between 500 and 1,000 - with some already coming from as far afield as Norwich, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to try to the park.
“It is for all ages and abilities - something to get young children excited as well as being challenging for competitive skaters who we hope will come back again and again to master different sections,” said Mr Sayles.
He hoped to form a competitive team for league matches against other “pro” parks such as Hunstanton, Norwich, Nottingham and the London area.
The aim was to have a May Day bank holiday official launch event with visiting professionals, and bands. And the next fundraising quest was for a £10,000 shelter for skaters and their parents.
For more information visit www.sheringhamskate.co.uk, its Facebook page or call Mr Sayles on 07950 650538.