After six years of hard work, effort and fundraising, plus support from Sheffield City Council and funding from Sport England, the lads Lewis, Harry, Kiran and Jacob were joined on Saturday (15 September) by local MTB champion Steve Peat to test out the new ramps.
The new skate park, which features a mini pump track, ramps, a sub box, rails and curved banks, is suitable for all wheeled users such as balance bikes, scooters, skate boards, bmx bikes and roller blades.
More than 100 young people and their families came to the opening event.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said:
It’s amazing to see young people with such passion for their local communities and with a desire to be outdoors being active, so of course we were very keen to support these plans.
I’m thrilled to see the new skate park installed and to see how many people are already using these brilliant new facilities. There’s a strong link between high quality outdoor spaces and high participation in physical activity and whether it’s walking, biking, scooting or just playing on the playground, the improvements we’ve made here in Grenoside Park will certainly encourage more local people to enjoy being outdoors.
I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved along the way, particularly Sport England, whose contribution has made all of this possible, Bike Track who created this fantastic skate and scoot landscape and of course not forgetting the young lads whose vision brought us here today.
The Friends of Grenoside Park was established in 2012 after the four local lads identified and campaigned for vital improvements to be made to facilities in their local park.
The Friends group were supported by local councillors and staff at Sheffield City Council to raise money from local grants, fund raising events and donations to complete maintenance work, but more was needed to realise the young lads’ vision.
Following a successful application, Sport England contributed £28,000 match funding to make the boys’ skate park dream become a reality.
Lewis Deighton, now aged 20, started the campaign with his friends six years ago, he said:
The new facility is fantastic, better than we ever imagined and the interest it has generated from the local youngsters is really positive. It’s a great addition to the park and has been worth the hard effort.
Thank you to Councillors Alf Meade and Adam Hurst for listening to our adolescent requests, without their support and consideration, together with FOGP, this site would still be an old run-down tennis court. Instead we have this brilliant new park that all the community can enjoy.
Kiran Bellamy who started the campaign with Lewis said:
I am thrilled it’s come together like it has. We had to travel 40 minutes to the nearest decent bike track when i was growing up and from a quick sketch by my mate and some imagination from the rest of us, here we are six years later with this amazing new park.
We knew it would be a busy event but were blown away by how many people came along on the day. I hope young people in the surrounding areas make the most of it and have a lot of fun.
Sport England’s Director of Property, Charles Johnston, said:
Sport England is delighted to help fund this new skate park which will enable young people to have a great time getting active. The four boys whose enthusiasm sparked the community campaign that led to its creation should feel very proud of their achievement.
Steve Peat, former Downhill MTB World Champion and creator of the Steel City Downhill race in Grenoside Woods attended the opening event, joining young people on the ramps and signing boards, bikes, scooters and helmets as a lasting memory of the celebration.
Staff from The House Skatepark also came along to give a two-hour skateboard coaching session, which went down well with the less experienced youngsters who were keen to try out the ramps.
The park was officially opened with a ribbon cutting by Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Downing, accompanied by Councillor Mary Lea, plus local councillors and officers from Sheffield Parks and Countryside service.
The skate and scoot park was designed and built by local track experts at Bike Track who have decades of experience in the industry.
The park has been built on the old tennis courts opposite the bowling park and children’s play area and is open to people of all ages and abilities, all year round.
Check out more pictures from the opening event by Ian Spooner on Facebook.