The Qualicum Beach skateboard park is in need of a major upgrade.
That was the message to invited town officials and candidates in the coming Oct. 15 municipal elections, from the more than 60 combined skaters and BMX riders, young and old, who came out for the special gathering on Friday night (Sept. 15).
Josh Reed, one of the organizers of the gathering, said goal was to showcase the interest in the park for the youth and young children.
“The objective is to bring awareness to show that these types of people would benefit from having a new park, upgrades with lights on so people can ride through the evening during winter time and all year here,” said Reed. “So I think it’s important to bring awareness of the situation that the park is in need of upgrade or redoing.”
There were a number of four-year-old children who came out for the event. They showed no fear going up and the down the inclines. There were some spills and crashes but they don’t seem to mind.
Parents put on a brave face but they do have concerns and fears. One of them was Lyndi Marshall, who was keeping an eye on her four-year-old daughter.
“There are some concerns but she’s got her helmet on and we try to get her geared up so she doesn’t get hurt,” said Marshall. “She likes it.”
Eric Pinto, an avid skateboarder and collector, is one of the many users of the park who wants to see the aging recreational facility resurfaced and upgraded.
“I do think this park is unsafe,” said Pinto. “It’s very unsafe for a beginner skateboarder. Every transition and surface here is very aggressive. The entire base is slanted. I have never seen a skatepark like that. It’s like having a basketball court built on a slant or having a tennis court built sideways.”
Ashleigh Terhune had both her daughters Keani, 4, and Mavi, 6, engaged in the sport. She would also like to see the park improved.
“It’s a little sketchy,” said Terhune. “Everything is a little steep. This would be really hard to start on. There’s nothing easy. The transition is always steep and uneven.”
Terhune indicated she keeps an eye on both when they’re at the park.
“What gives me the courage to see my children do the sport is their joy,” said Terhune. “I watch their progression. They don’t just go up there and do that without practising.”