Cr Bill Ludwig and Cr Eastwood meet with skateboarders and their families to inspect a potential site for a new multipurpose competition skatepark.
Cr Bill Ludwig and Cr Eastwood meet with skateboarders and their families to inspect a potential site for a new multipurpose competition skatepark.

Skateboarders don’t expect ratepayers to cough up

CAPRICORN Coast skate park users have identified the need for a new, larger, competition sized skate park that caters to more people of all ages and will become the hub of major skate, scooter, rollerskate and cycle competitions in the area... and they don’t want it to cost ratepayers a cent.

The group has set up a GoFundMe page to begin the journey of raising funds for the project, which has the potential to bring avid skateboard enthusiasts from across the country and overseas to the Capricorn Coast.

Wade Smith is father to avid 12-year-old skateboard enthusiast Mack and a huge advocate for a new facility that offers a range of other use elements for youth.

“We understand how difficult the economy is right now and we have no intention of adding to that burden,” Mr Smith said.

“It is our intention to source funding from state and federal government grants and by hosting events ourselves to raise the funds we need to make this dream a reality.

“This project has amazing potential for our region, both in attracting major events and in addressing the likes of youth crime by working with organisations such as Yeppoon PCYC to better engage our youth in healthy outdoor activities.”

Mr Smith said due to the high use of the current facility, overcrowding was leading to wait times for use, minor collisions and the inability to professionally train due to the smaller scale, which was more suited to the beginners starting out in the sport.

“A new multi-use facility would allow more youth on the Capricorn Coast to train and use the facility socially,” he said.

“Youth themselves state there are insufficient activities for them to participate in on the Capricorn Coast.

“Location for a new multipurpose sport facility is vital in ensuring the optimum positive outcomes for the community.

“We have investigated the site in between the Yeppoon PCYC, Cooee Bay Aquatic Centre and Cooee Bay Tennis Centre, which would be the ideal site for the project.

“The site would add an integral link to build greater synergies between all outdoor recreational services in that well-used sporting precinct, leading to a greater level of participation in outdoor recreation, potential to hold major events and family focused activities.

“We have been in touch with other councils and researched what they have done. Given the increasing popularity of the sport, now is a fabulous time to get a new facility up and running for our young people and for future generations of skateboard enthusiasts.”

Skateboarding facilitator Theo George said the current skatepark facility in Yeppoon was simply not adequate for competition skateboarders or competitions.

“Competition bowls are generally 9- to 12-foot deep. Usually with various transitions and extensions to draw different lines,” he said.

“The Yeppoon bowl is fun, but too tight for users to really skate to their potential.

“The Sugar Bowl in Mackay is a perfect example of what is needed as a competition level skatepark for our area.

“With skateboarding now being included as an Olympic sport, it would be awesome to have a facility in this region for the youth to pursue the dream of becoming a professional skateboarder.

“The Rumble on the Reef skateboarding event in Mackay is a major drawcard for Australia’s best competition skaters. Something of that scale here would be incredible.”

If you would like to lend a hand towards seeing a new multi-use competition skate park developed, check out the GoFundMe page at

www.gofundme.com/f/capricorn-coast-skatepark-multiuse-comp-bowl?

YOUTH IN LIVINGSTONE

Statistics in the Youth Needs Analysis 2018 (the most current statistics):

  • 30.41 per cent of the Livingstone Shire population are under 25 years old and 65.58 per cent are over 25.
  • Youth disengagement is recorded as 12.1 per cent of those aged 15–24 years and not employed or in education.
  • Responses to a survey conducted in 2017 by 312 young people included 184 responding that they experience a lack of things to do in the area.
  • 204 of the young people asked that council offer more entertainment options


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