Skatepark dreams closer to reality

It has been a dream for young skaters since 2014, and now, thanks to the investment from a volunteer organisation, the upgrading of the Waiuku skatepark is one step closer to reality.

At a special community announcement last Sunday that the Post Newspaper was exclusively invited to, the Waiuku Skatepark Upgrade committee received $30,000 of community funding from the Waiuku Lions Club. This brings the total amount available for the park to $95,000. Only a further $35,000 is required to complete the upgrade.

Waiuku Lions Club President, Lynda Moller, said the investment was carefully considered, and ties in with their 50th Anniversary, as well as the 100 years of Lions celebrations.

“The Lions Club International are encouraging local clubs to  honor our legacy of service by planning a Centennial project in our community, and it gives me great pleasure to announce our financial support of the skatepark upgrade.”

Mikara Flavell first approached the local lions club for help in 2014. Since then, the Franklin Local Board confirmed that $65,000 had been allocated for the upgrade of the park, which is located on Queen Street, and that a further $65,000 would need to be raised by the community to finish it.

The group have been actively fundraising for the last 18 months via lessons, raffles and competition days, and Jono Watson, a passionate skater and driving member of the committee, couldn’t be happier with the latest news.

“I was not expecting this at all. This announcement has been an awesome surprise and we are now so close to reaching our target.”

Jono says that the skateboarding lessons have grown in popularity, and that there is a good vibe at the skatepark.

“We have families coming from around Franklin, learning to skate. There is a good bunch of people using this park, and the upgrade couldn’t come at a better time. I cannot thank everyone enough who has supported us all they way. You know, ideas like this fall through the wayside, but we have had the support of the community and local board, and now the Lions. So thank you to everyone for sticking by us and helping make it happen.”

Local board members, Brendon Crompton, Niko Kloeten, and Waiuku Town Manager, Sharlene Druyven, were also at the announcement on Sunday, and agreed that the upgrade was positive project in the community.

“We need more activities for our youth in the town, especially area’s that they can utilise outdoors. This is just great news,” says Sharlene.

The upgrade will be completed in two stages, with stage one expected to begin in the near future, however, a date has not yet been confirmed.

The committee still have have to raise the $35,000, and are passionate that they will reach this goal. The team behind the upgrade will have a stall at Steel and Wheels for those who are interested in learning more, and regular updates can be found on their facebook page, www.facebook.com/waiukuskatepark

Waiuku Lions Club President, Lynda Moller, presents Waiuku Skatepark Upgrade committee member, Jono Watson, with a cheque for $30,000 to help with the refurbishment of park behind them.