Skaters of all ages and backgrounds have been selected by Tauranga City Council to help design a destination skatepark for the city.
The council co-designs and identifies the best location for a destination skate park, as well as upgrading existing skate facilities.
A community survey in late 2021 attracted over 500 submissions and over 250 people raised their hands to join the community design group.
Spaces and Places director Paul Dunphy said the response was “fantastic”.
“We were especially thrilled to see young people in our community telling us what they want to see in a destination skate park, with over 180 of these responses coming from people aged 24 and under.
“The greatest interest came from the 25-44 age group which included some parents of skaters, but also included a large number of skateboarders, showing that skating is an accessible and inclusive activity with active participants from various backgrounds, demographics, gender and origins.
The 24-member community design group will meet for the first time in February and includes a range of ages – including four under 16 – and skating interests, including skateboarding, roller skating, in-line skating, BMX and scooters.
The group will be led by local skateboarders Cale Tolley and Sam Robertson and roller skater Ivy Bates, and will work alongside council staff as well as skate designer Richard Smith of Rich Landscapes.
A full design of the destination skatepark is expected mid-year, but in the meantime improvements to existing skateparks have already begun.
A new mini ramp – a partnership with Sam Robertson of Sam’s Skate School – and a new corner ramp have been added to the Memorial Park skate park ahead of Christmas, in time for the school holidays.
“Some of the feedback we received from the survey was about the lack of facilities for beginner skaters so adding a mini ramp to Memorial Park to help learn how to transition from horizontal skateboarding to vertical skateboarding before s tackling some of the biggest green ramps around town is a great start,” says Paul.
Skating provides physical, mental and social benefits. It’s a fun, unstructured and affordable activity that promotes activity and creativity in suitable outdoor environments.
A world-class facility in Tauranga will help aspiring Olympic skaters and attract both national and international skating events, giving a boost to our local tourism industry and economy.
For more information on the destination skate park project, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/skate