Hurry up and give us our skatepark, say Watton youths

A teenager in Watton has urged community leaders to get a move on and build a skatepark for the town's bored youngsters.

Keanu Champion has been campaigning for the equipment for BMX riders and skateboarders for more than three years and has organised petitions and sent letters suggesting locations for it.

But he said, despite assurances from councillors 18 months ago that they would build one, there was still no sign of a skatepark.

The 14-year-old said: 'We don't have anywhere to go. We just end up sitting around Watton.

'They said to us we would definitely get a skatepark. That was about a year and a half ago but nothing's happened so far.'

Keanu uses the town's youth centre, The Surge, which gives youngsters somewhere to meet friends, play pool, or create music, twice a week.

But at other times, he finds himself hanging around the town or trying to find ways to get to skateparks elsewhere in the county – which often means cycling along the main road to Hingham.

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He said, in an ideal world, he would like to have equipment like that recently installed at Eaton Park in Norwich, but would 'settle for just a few ramps'.

Watton mayor Roy Ivory said the town council was committed to providing more activities for youngsters and were still working towards creating a skatepark. But he added that it took time to find a suitable spot where it would not cause upset for other townsfolk.

'The sports centre has been identified as a possible location and the idea has been put to both the management and district council.

'We're waiting for a response,' he said. 'We're not trying to get rid of it. I know a lot of people feel we are ignoring it but it does come up regularly at meetings and we are pursuing it.

'We will eventually get there.'

The mayor also suggested car parks near The Surge could be used for temporary equipment if a deal to buy the old doctors surgery building went through. But he warned a skatepark was unlikely to solve Watton's problem with bored youths since it would not be to everyone's taste.