by Amy Mattes, Contributor
Skateboarding is often misunderstood, but Nelson and the surrounding areas have produced a multitude of talented skateboarders who have gone on to become professionals, sponsored amateurs and many have gone on to work in the industry doing design, art, fashion, media or business work that earns them a living.
The culture of skateboarding breeds significant, talented and creative people and due to the nature of our terrific new outdoor space, it is time we recognized skateboarders as passionate, enthusiasts that have something to offer our community, in the same way we embrace outdoor recreation and winter sports and their effect on the local economy.
As we anticipate the spring opening of the outdoor skatepark, it is important to remember the roots of this project and the place local skateboarders have called home for many years — the Nelson and District Youth Centre.
The centre has housed and fostered generations of Kootenay people and continually encouraged youth to stay on board when there was no place else to go.
In 2014 we invite you to drop by and see the activities taking place here. Skate lessons are offered on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. for a $15 drop in fee or $60 for five lessons. If users of the indoor facility have ideas for layout changes or thoughts on future development, let us know.
This space should not be taken for granted. A lot of fun and new experiences will grace the scene of the outdoor facility in spring, with contests, demos, lessons and other programs, including use and etiquette awaiting to be held.
Take pride in our skateboarders and they will take pride in themselves. Having a brand new, beautiful place to skate, should encourage all users to pick up their garbage, stay safe and respect other users. We’re looking forward to it.
— Amy Mattes works for the Nelson and District Youth Centre as the Skatepark Program Leader.