Saturday, February 16, 2008

Save Harrow Skate Park - Tony Hawks is in

Meanwhile the campaign to save Harrow skatepark is gaining ground with Tony Hawks involved. It is almost as if the councilors in Harrow are imitating the thugs which vandalise skate parks and attack skaters all the time like those who burned the miniramp at Harrow. What is even more bizzare is the national sporting body Sport England has condemned the Leisure centre plan: "Sport England considers the proposals to be damaging to a wide range of existing sporting interests and they would reduce opportunities for participation in sport and active recreation in the borough." Mr Durrans supported the objections already voiced by various sports groups in the borough, including Harrow and Wealdstone Swimming Club, Harrow Squash Club, Wembley and Harrow Table Tennis League and the Harrow Skatepark Users' Association." [Harrow Times Sport England slams leisure project] It is not just skaters suffering from this absurd idea it is the entire community being victimised so the Council can help developers and the end result is a smaller leisure centre in the end.

A petition is gaining ground over 1500 signatures sign it and use your real name. Let the Prime Minister know your thoughts:

Great documentary on the importance of the park.

Tony Hawk: "Keep skatepark"
Harrow Times, UK - 30 Jan 2008

PRO skateboarder Tony Hawk has backed calls to save a local skatepark due to be replaced by Harrow Council.

Users of Harrow Skatepark, in Byron Park, have been campaigning to save it since plans were announced by the council to build over the site as part of a £36m project to rebuild Harrow Leisure Centre.

Mr Hawk said: "If they feel that the park is truly irreplaceable, then they should keep it."

The Harrow Times interviewed Tony Hawk about the skatepark. Here is what he had to say.

HT: Have you ever used the park and if so what do you think of it?

TH: "I've never been, but I have seen it in magazines and heard about it through the years."

HT: Local skateboarders say parks like this one are not built any more, do you share their appreciation for the older style?

TH: "I do, especially when there are so few that have survived from that era. But I also believe that it is possible to build new parks that incorporate elements of parks from the 1970s. It just takes the right design and construction crew."

HT: The council has put aside £300,000 to build a replacement park but users do not think it is enough. Given the reputation it has gathered among skaters in Britain does this sound like a realistic figure?

TH: "Compared to most parks in the US (I see many park plans come through the Tony Hawk Foundation) that is a healthy budget. I'm not sure it's enough to recreate Harrow, but it could be enough to make a decent park with some 1970s flair."

Skaters excited by Hawk comments
Harrow Times, UK - 1 Feb 2008
By Jack Royston
THE head of a local skateboarding team said he was shocked to hear Tony Hawk's message of support for a campaign to save Harrow Skatepark.

Nick Zorlack, who runs Death Skateboards, accused the council of robbing Harrow's youth of £600,000 over plans to demolish the site in Byron Park. Harrow Council plans to rebuild Harrow Leisure Centre in its place and has set aside £300,000 in the project's budget for a replacement skatepark.

He said: "I'm shocked that he's done it. I think Tony Hawk is a great ambassador for the sport but I think the council just don't get it.I feel like the council are robbing the kids of harrow by about £600,000. They're going to spend £300,000 on a replacement but that's not enough."

Robert Adler, president of Harrow Skatepark Users Group, was excited to hear about Mr Hawk's comments and said he hoped at some point the skateboarding legend might come to use the park in Harrow.

He said: "I think it's brilliant if we can get people like him to give us recognition and back us. To have a great man like that show his support - hopefully we'll have a great skatepark for him. If he came thousands of people would come down to see him. How many places could say that."

Councillor Paul Osborn said he felt the £300,000 budget for the park would be enough and he would like Tony Hawk's opinion on designs for a replacement.

Users of the park are helping to compile plans for a replacement should the project go ahead. He said: "We are aware of their view, we also think this is an exciting opportunity to build a skatepark for the future."

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