With Skateboarding being included in the Olympics for the first time at Tokyo 2020, it's no surprise it's become one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide.

Research shows a wealth of benefits to local skateparks. Not only can they provide an inclusive space for teenagers and young adults, they are proven to promote increased physical activity, encourage positive goal-setting, independence, co-operation, social skills and peer-to-peer mentoring – they also have a positive effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.
While there are some fantastic facilities in Nottinghamshire for skateboarders, BMXers and scooters, many are too far for local people to get to independently. With all the benefits associated with having a local skatepark, both for individuals and a community, it's high time Southwell Skatepark received some attention!

Southwell's current skatepark is over 25 years old and while Southwell Town Council has maintained and repaired the equipment, now is the ideal time to upgrade it and improve the surrounding area, making it more pleasant for residents and the wide range of users (and their parents).

Following the successful redevelopment of the toddler playground at Squire's Field, Friends of Southwell Parks is again supporting Southwell Town Council to transform the Skatepark – working closely with Skate Nottingham, who will bring their expertise and ensure the new skatepark complements other facilities in the area.

Peter Harris, the Chair of the Operations Committee of the Town Council said: "Our skatepark was refurbished with the involvement of many Southwell youngsters and other users a few years back. The Park, that was first installed over 20 years ago, is getting a little tired. Whilst the Town Council has continued to keep the park in a safe condition - and recently spent money on a temporary repair to some of the surfaces - users have asked to work with the Friends of Southwell Parks and the Council for improvements.

"We are hoping that many of the young people and other residents who use the park - will help design the new equipment and we have started to look at a budget. The Town Council will be using some money provided by a local developer, as there is no play space on their new estate. We can use this to kick start the funding, along with grant applications to other organisations to get a really great facility for the skate boarders and scooterers in the town."

As part of the community consultation, Southwell Town Council and Friends of Southwell Parks are hosting a FREE Come and Skate day with Skate Nottingham on Sunday 23rd February, 12.30pm to 4.30pm, at Southwell Leisure Centre.

Bring your own skateboard and shred in the sports hall at a skate session, sign up to a free beginner's session with Skate Nottingham's trained coaches, or simply come to find out more about the project and see the demos by some of the best local skaters!

For more information on this project and future events, follow Friends of Southwell Parks on Facebook, and @southwell_skate_park on Instagram.

Published January 2020