The Montreal Association of Skateboarders is asking the borough for an investment of at least $300,000 for a major upgrade to the Benny skateboard park.
The only one in the borough, it’s old, outdated and rough, and some of
the ramps are dangerous, said Samuel Kardash at the Feb. 10 borough council meeting.
Kardash thinks that the borough needs more skateboard parks for its youth. “Skateboarding is a sport of the future. It’s not a fad or a trend that’s going away. We’re talking about healthy eating and exercising and this would be a good way to add to healthy lifestyles,” he said.
The association is pushing for a minimum investment of $300,000, but what the youths really want is $600,000 for a state-of-the-art central skateboard park at Benny Park with small skateboard parks around the borough, as well as more facilities for youth.
“The City has done a great job of improving the state of parks for young children and we would like to see the same thing for teenagers and young adults in the form of basketball, volleyball and skateboard parks,” he said.
The citizen believes that small skateboard parks can be built with a minimal investment from the borough.
Loyola district councillor Jeremy Searle replied that he’s 100% in favour and that the Benny skateboard park has to be made safe immediately. “The question of the larger skateboard park is one I support, but I have no idea at this moment where such a thing would go or where we’ll be able to find the money that would require the consent of everybody here,” he said, “but I’m very glad that you came here and brought it up.”
Indoor skateboarding could work well in a community centre, said Kardash. One good example would be the indoor skateboard facility in Jeanne-Mance school.
“The police department actually helped out greatly there and it’s a very successful project that we need in this area as well,” he said.
Kardash pointed out that while there are some youth centres in the borough the Loyola NDG area doesn’t have a lot for youth.
“The Benny gym is open to all kinds of programming, but there is no drop-in time where you can just go with your kids and shoot baskets,” he said.
Trenholme Park has a small building used by the school and for volleyball in the evenings, but there needs to be more family and youth programming, he suggested.
There were no further comments from council members, but Kardash promised to follow up by contacting them.
Marie Cicchini | email@example.com
Photo : Marie Cicchini