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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 14:23 GMT
On board with mobile skatepark
Nathan Hughes
Nathan Hughes' parents feel he is safer using the skatepark
What is thought to be north Wales' first portable skatepark has been unveiled to youngsters in Wrexham.

The 14,000 mobile park can be packed away and transported to various villages and sports halls throughout the county.

Villagers in nearby Plas Madoc have asked for a skatepark for 20 years.

Teenagers using the facility in Ruabon near Wrexham said they normally skate on the street but residents tell them off and confiscate their ramps.

The skatepark was bought by Wrexham Council, Plas Madoc Communities First and the Dee Valley Community Partnership because of the lack of skating facilities in the local area.

The facility caters for BMX users, skateboarding and rollerblading and it is transported in a customised box trailer.

Reaction

"It can be used in any leisure centres, any car parks anywhere with a smooth surface area," said Kevin Davies, a sports development officer with Wrexham Council.

"People off the Plas Madoc estate have been asking for skateparks for about 20 years but it's took a long time to get it up and running.

"We've only had it a week and there were about 50 kids using it yesterday," he added.

Among the teenagers skateboarding on Tuesday was 16-year-old Steffan Burns.

He said: "We skateboard on the street and we get kicked out of places, people shout at us for being on the street but there's not much to do around here so we're happy we've got this," he said.

"We wax curbs up to grind them and the residents come out and have a go at us, we build little ramps and we put them on the road and keep them on the path but people come and take them away," he added.

The youngest skater on the park was seven-year-old Nathan Hughes.

Skatepark
The ramps can be used by BMX riders and skateboarders

His mother and father took him to experience the ramps after he became interested in the sport three months ago.

"I'm glad they've got this here otherwise he's stuck at home or out in the garden and this is safer," said his father Jamie.

"They should have thought about this earlier, it should have been done ages ago."

Local policeman Martin Jones helped supervise the event. He said the skatepark will help keep youngsters out of trouble.

"Unfortunately just like in every village there just isn't enough youth provision," the community police officer said.

"They're here, they're supervised, the kit has all been provided and we've all been on training courses, this keeps them in a safe environment away from dangers on the roads.

"Luckily we haven't got any major problems with skateboards or anti-social behaviour in Ruabon, this is a focus to make sure it doesn't happen anyway," he added.

Cardiff has had a mobile skateboard park since the summer of 2003, able to take in two locations a day.

It has proved particularly popular in outlying areas of the city.

"We can go anywhere, into schools, leisure centres, church and pub carparks," said Mike Murphy, community development officer with Cardiff council's leisure and lifelong learning.




SEE ALSO:
Rundown park to be skaters' haven
14 Jan 05 |  North East Wales
Skatepark opens in Rhyl
19 Jul 03 |  North East Wales
Skatepark school opening shelved
13 Feb 04 |  North East Wales


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