Dad pleads for a skate park in the town of Clayton
APEX, NC – Skateboarding is growing in popularity in North Carolina and across the United States. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world, according to consumer data firm Statista.
the Friends of Skate Parks Foundationa North Carolina organization, works with communities to grow the skate scene.
Eric Tansey has three sons, aged 9, 7 and 4. They all love to skate.
“Once they got on set and fell off three or four times, they never wanted to stop,” Tansey said. “And it was all day, every day. Can we go to the skate park?
Tansey takes her kids to the skate park three or four times a week. On days when they’re not around, the boys skate in church parking lots or behind grocery stores. Police sometimes respond to trespassing calls about young skaters.
“The kids are going to skate no matter what. So if there’s no skate park, if there’s no legal place to skate, kids will skate wherever they want, whether it’s legal or illegal,” Tansey said.
The Tansey family lives in Clayton. The skate park is far away. The journey takes between 40 minutes and an hour to get to Apex.
“It’s a nightmare. You have three kids. And then Ashley is pregnant, and it’s an all-day affair,” Tansey said. “So we’re here all day. You gotta have it all. If you forget something, you can’t come back for it.It’s a lot of chaos in the morning.
Tansey is in the lead efforts to build a skate park in Clayton, which he says would really benefit the community. He is surprised by the outpouring of support.
“It was really crazy,” Tansey said. “When we spoke to the city about it and how receptive they were. It’s been such a struggle for the past four years, doing this four or five times a week. While we even thought it might be an idea to have a skatepark, it seemed unreal at the time.
Tansey works with the Friends of the Skate Parks as they designed the skate parks in Fayetteville and Elizabethtown. Tansey wants Clayton to have his own skatepark by 2024.
“Skate parks, they give the city not only something to be a part of, but also something to be proud of,” Tansey said.
Tansey has formed a committee and has a board of directors. The next step is to meet with Clayton City Council on April 18. He is also planning a fundraiser in July and hopes to raise around $1 million to build the new skate park.