Olympian shares his love of skateboarding while dreaming of a new skate park in Amherstburg
The city of Amherstburg hopes to build the ultimate skate park.
To achieve this, managers are actively engaging with young people on wheels to find out what they want and need in their future park.
“If you build it, they will come,” said Heidi Baillargeon, director of parks, recreation, facilities and culture for the city of Amherstburg.
“Kids in the community are always looking for something to do. It’s really for all age levels…We’re looking for something for young kids through to advanced skaters. There’s been a lot of interest.”
The future skate park should include a pump track, a flat pad, a bowl – something for skateboarders and cyclists.
“Skateboarding is the best thing ever”
Feedback was gathered during a skate field trip held earlier this month to firm up some of these design elements.
Young skateboarders, scooter riders and cyclists gathered at Windsor’s Little River Pump Track and Forest Glade Skate Park to try out the different amenities to let the city know what they want and don’t want in Amherstburg .
Austrian pro skateboarder and Olympian Julia Brueckler and Canadian Ramp Company Vice President Graham Cooke were on hand to skate and chat with the kids.
“Skateboarding is the best thing ever. I’m not just saying that because it really changed my mind and changed my life,” Brueckler said.
“Through skateboarding, you don’t just learn on your skateboard and in the park, you love learning for your life because you learn that you have to try a million times, you’ll fall, you might cry, you might bleed, all of those things can happen, but you’re going to get up and try again and it’ll be the best feeling once you’ve succeeded.”
Demand for skate parks and pump tracks has increased in recent years due to COVID-19 and the shutdown of team sports, Cooke said.
“These are individual sports that still have a huge community engagement. Every child, from your three-year-old to your grandparents, can use pump tracks, skate parks and bike parks. Demand has increased dramatically. “
Amherstburg Council has already approved a portion of land for the northwest corner of the Libro Credit Union Center for the future skatepark.
The timeline for completion is not yet specified, according to Bailargeon, but the city is currently in the first phase of the project, which is focused on design.