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Skatepark for Ilkeston

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We, the undersigned, petition Erewash Council to support and assist in building a concrete skatepark in Ilkeston. Valid reasons to construct a skatepark in Ilkeston: 1. The skatepark will provide a safe place to recreate. A majority of the deadly accidents that happen to people while they’re riding involve a motor vehicle. In towns and cities across the nation the most interesting terrain for riding is found on the streets and wasteland. The skatepark will be the safe place to skate but for it to be effective it must be more interesting than what’s out “in the wild.” 2. Skateparks, if designed and constructed correctly, are fiscally conservative and require very little maintenance. When a skatepark is built correctly it will require virtually no structural maintenance for years. The nation’s oldest skateparks have been servicing their community for years and most have required little more than cosmetic maintenance. For a skatepark to meet this high expectation it should feature no fixtures; all of the materials used that are intended to be skated on should be fixed into the forms with grout and concrete. (In other words, skateparks that require no maintenance have no kick-plates, screws, bolts, or other components that will loosen through vibration and weather over the years.) 3. BMXers are currently under-served in the area. As a community we understand that we need to support our youth who wish to pursue active, healthy lifestyles.Without community support those groups are required to build their own support systems outside of our community. Do we want to sit by while a significant portion of our youth meet their recreational needs with no support or involvement from our community? 4. BMX has millions of participants nationally and is growing while team sports participation is in decline. When one considers that skateboarding is the third most popular recreational activity for kids between 6 and 18 years old, it might be assumed there would be skateparks all across our community. We have football pitches, cycle paths, unused tennis courts and plenty of other places for people to be active. Yet we have no skateparks! It’s time to address the needs of today’s recreational youth. 5. Skatepark sport is a 2.5-billion dollar industry. For decades BMX, and skateboarding have been on the leading edge of youth marketing. Today it’s serious business with lucrative video games, television shows, and brand names that launch dozens of product lines. With all of this marketing, more kids than ever before are eager to learn to ride.. The demand is enormous and skateparks are the place to start. 6. BMXers are a vital part of urban communities. Extreme sports have been a commonplace feature of the urban environment for over 30 years, and a part of British culture since the 1970s. It’s so popular with youth that today there is no city on the planet that doesn’t have it’s own skateboarding group of kids. Our local skateboarders are not part of a fringe group of kids who are into something unique and uncommon! 7. A skatepark can attract tourists if designed to do so. Dozens of skateparks in the UK—and abroad—enjoy a reputation for being places that skaters dream of visiting someday. Places like Corby, Clifton Nottingham, Derby skateparks, Leeds, Stapleford and others share an allure for so many children and adults in the area, but nothing in Ilkeston... 8. With national health issues looming for today’s youth, it’s time to offer a greater number of healthy, athletic choices. You don’t see obese skateboarders, scooter riders or BMXers. Lots of them ride several times a week and often for hours at a time.There is clearly a commitment for these kids to develop their skills, yet they do this without coaches, leagues, and often without even an appropriate place to do it. 9. The low cost to participation makes it accessible to everyone. These sports are inexpensive and are economically feasible to any family’s financial situation. While hand-me-down equipment is commonplace, even a quality new scooter can be purchased for around £70 and last for years if taken care of. That’s all a person needs. There is no additional equipment, no “green fees,” no travel expenses. 10. Thousands of other communities understand the value of skateparks. If they had the opportunity to do it again, when asked what they might have done differently with their skateparks many Parks directors claim they would have made the skatepark larger. When skateparks are designed to succeed, they succeed wildly. If you contact any Parks Department with a successful skatepark, they will rank it as one of their most popular, well-used facilities. (Seriously, try it!)

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