The Central Coast is to become home to four high quality competition-grade skateparks in all corners of the region, following the endorsement of a draft Skatepark Action Plan, consolidating former Wyong and Gosford Council documents into one.
Soon to go on public exhibition, the draft strategy follows an independent assessment of Council’s existing 26 skateparks and community and stakeholder feedback.
It provides future management, development and activation recommendations for the next 10 years in line with industry benchmarks and good practice.
The draft strategy received unanimous support from councillors at their September 28 meeting, with the addition of a point confirming four competition grade parks for the region.
Councillor Jillian Hogan, enthusiastically claiming she can still do a 180 on a good day, said in 1975 her brother was a champion and skate boarding was “a fantastic sport” which was here to stay.
Mayor Lisa Matthews said the recent success of BATO Yard at Bateau Bay and Banjo’s Skate Park at Terrigal and the ongoing popularity of these facilities had highlighted the need for consistent short, medium and long-term management actions across the region.
“Skating is an inclusive activity with many physical, social and mental health benefits for users, plus tourism and visitation benefits for the wider community when we host regional and national skate events,” Cr Matthews said.
“This draft Action Plan provides high-level priorities to inform the development, accessibility, management and activation of our skate facilities to meet the growing needs of the community.
“Skating is an Olympic sport now and perhaps with this Strategy and our commitment to deliver world-class skating facilities, the next Champion will be grown right here on the Coast.”
The draft strategy lists its ultimate aim as an accessible network of high-quality multi-purpose, inclusive skateparks that contribute to active lifestyles, support social engagement, creativity, are appropriately sited and sustainably managed.
It stresses that the World Health Organisation cites the importance of providing safe environments for children to engage in sport and play-based learning which create opportunities to develop life skills.
Among key findings of the audit of existing parks were that some larger skateparks provide little diversity in skater experience and more than 80 per cent need improvements.
It said Bato Yard was the only current regional level facility.
With a 19.7 per cent increase in population expected by 2036 and children aged 5-14 expected to be among the largest growth groups, the draft strategy stresses the need for facilities to accommodate many styles of boarding, scootering and BMX.
Among short-term goals are the development of new regional facilities at Umina Beach and Lake Munmorah, redevelopment of the Narara facility to district level and repair of existing skatepark facilities.
Details on about the public exhibition of the Skate Strategy, with the inclusion of a commitment to four competition grade parks, can be found at yourvoiceourcoast.com.