Skate park ideas thrown in the air

IDEAS for Swan Hill's new skate park ramped up last week, when dozens of youth put their wheels into motion with features they want included. 

Swan Hill Rural City council youth support officer Nellie Patterson, Convic senior designer Bryce Hinton, Jaz Lahy and Tyler Sixsmith at the Skate Park Design Workshop. Picture: PAMELA BLACKMAN

Swan Hill Rural City council youth support officer Nellie Patterson, Convic senior designer Bryce Hinton, Jaz Lahy and Tyler Sixsmith at the Skate Park Design Workshop. Picture: PAMELA BLACKMAN

More than 60 youth, including skateboarders, bikers and scooters, attended two workshops on July 26 and put ideas to paper for the Riverside Park asset, as part of Swan Hill Rural City Council's Riverside Park masterplan. 

The sessions were led by skate park designers Convic and featured a presentation on multi-million dollar parks built in Victoria and around the world. 

The youth, who will use the park then filled in a questionnaire of the features they wanted included, the site responsiveness and its social space. 

"You want seating in the right area because it doubles as social space within your town so it's important to get it right," senior designer Bryce Hinton said.

"Consider sheltering, natural shade, drinking fountains, signage and the right materials that will fit the landscape of the area.

"It's a place where you can have skate workshops, community activities, live performances, demonstrations, competitions and art workshops."

Mr Hinton said the design should be different to nearby parks.

"You want something that is unique to Swan Hill so it fits in and works together in a network of skate parks," he said. 

Swan Hill skateboarder Tyler Sixsmith, 16, said the current park was not suited to skateboarders. 

"We need good ramps and a good bowl and somewhere to sit and chill as well," Tyler said.

"Currently we skate at the school or find somewhere good on the streets."

Friend Jaz Lahy, 16, from Lake Boga, said he was "pumped" for the new park, which will need external funding to get off the ground. 

"I would want to see a mini ramp, low quarter pipe, but not something too intense, grinding bars and some street features too," Jaz said.

"We need features for beginners as well so they can progress in their ability.

"The (current) park is thrown together randomly with no flow."

More than 60 youth attended two design workshops for Swan Hill's new skate park at the Town Hall last week. Picture: PAMELA BLACKMAN

More than 60 youth attended two design workshops for Swan Hill's new skate park at the Town Hall last week. Picture: PAMELA BLACKMAN

Mr Hinton also said the community would buy into the design and start to take ownership is they were consulted from the very beginning. 

"When it's built there will be that guardianship and look after it a bit more," he said.

"The culture of skate parks is evolving from just a sport to an art form with new trends.

"Gone are the days when councils had skate parks located in the back corner, they are now in the forefront with world-class designs that are centrepiece assets for tourists and locals alike."

Convic will summarise the ideas and conduct a site assessment before they complete concept plans and technical drawings, which will be presented to council by the end of the year.

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