The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) held a free pop-up skate park on Saturday at the Kerkplein parking lot in Bellville, attracting about 200 young skaters, BMXers and rollerbladers, together with their families.
Pupils from Westcliff High School and Delft Technical High School had a hand in building the skate park equipment during an earlier weekend training workshop, and both newbie and long-time skaters put it to good use.
“The event was made possible thanks to the efforts of the four pupils who were chosen to take part in a training workshop, developed by GTP. The workshop focused on building skate equipment, including rails and ramps,” said project co-ordinator Ross Alexander of GTP.
“I had so much fun building the equipment and attending the workshops. I have been skating since the age of six and used to build ramps with my dad,” said Alamein Jooste, 17, from Oak Glen.
“I enjoy being able to build things with my hands. The kicker ramp is my favourite.”
A highlight was when internationally renowned pro skateboarder Jean-marc Johannes put in an appearance, wowing the young skaters with a demonstration of his skills. Jean-marc, who grew up in Athlone, now travels the world skateboarding in top competitions.
He seeks to inspire other young skaters to follow their dreams by working hard to make them come true. Mr Alexander said there were not many skateboarding facilities in the Voortrekker Road Corridor, and this often led to youngsters skating in unsafe areas.
“Skateboarding is one of the few sports in which participants make creative use of barren urban environments. Many benefits are realised through skateboarding as it teaches discipline and commitment while still allowing an outlet for creative expression,” said.
Sub-council 6 chairman Clive Justus was at the event and gave it the thumbs up.
“It is a wonderful way to get the youth away from their video games and into the outdoors,” he said.
“GTP is making use of under utilised public spaces in a healthy way and bringing people back into Bellville’s CBD. It also provided vendors with an opportunity to sell their goods while ploughing back into the community.”
Other activities included a skate clinic and competition and live entertainment by street dance group IROK and local music collective Hiperdelic Mashup.
Mr Alexander said more events were in the pipeline.
“The event is the launch for the ‘pop-up’ skate park activation series that will soon be appearing in various parking lots along the Voortrekker Road Corridor.”