Cumberland skatepark project needs help

Dear editor,

There has been a dedicated group of people in Cumberland working on getting a much-needed skatepark for our youth.

A lot has been accomplished already, including securing the land for the future site, which will be located adjacent to the new kids' playground.

The skatepark itself will be about a third of the size of the skatepark in Courtenay (near Mark Isfeld Secondary School). Some of the design process has been completed already. The park will be suitable for both novice and more advanced riders.

As an enthusiastic skater in my youth I can assure anyone that is not familiar with the sport of its merit for a community.

First off, skateboarding is an amazingly creative and aerobic activity. It requires a lot of energy, which our youth always need to burn in a positive way.

At the moment, I often see our youth just hanging out in sheltered areas of town like the No. 6 Mine Site and around the undercover area near the waterpark.

Both these spots have had repeated bouts of vandalism over the years. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

A skatepark is and will be a place for people to meet, hang out and hone their skills. The skatepark in its design is virtually bomb-proof and once built requires little or no maintenance.

Another thing that is fantastic about skating is its affordability. You can pick up a used board for less than 50 bucks and you're good to go. No seasons passes, no scheduled ice time, no long drives to practice and games, etc.

There are so many keen kids in Cumberland. My son, who is 10, is a real scooter rider and on any given day you can see dozens of kids riding their scooters or skateboarding their way to school. Ramps all around my neighbourhood are being built and ridden in want of more challenge.

We are a growing community of young people and families here. Smaller communities like Quadra and Cortes island as well as Ucluelet and Tofino have skateparks that have been a great and ongoing success.

It's our turn here but we need help. Much of the projected costs have been covered already by community funding and ongoing grants are currently being sourced and applied for.

A big fundraiser is planned for Empire Days and with your help can be a big success. More details will come to light in the coming weeks but be assured of quite a spectacle if you're out in Cumberland during that weekend.

Some teachers and students at Vanier secondary School have put a great deal of effort in making some awesome and creative donation jars that you will see around at various locations soon. Cumberland community schools in conjunction with the Cumberland Skate Park committee would greatly appreciate any support you can give to this valuable project.

Visit the Cumberland Skatepark open group on Facebook and stay tuned for a newsletter in the coming days.

James Powsey,



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