‘Minority’ will not ruin park, say teenagers

Eastwood skatepark opens
Eastwood skatepark opens

Two teenage girls who came up with the idea for Eastwood’s new skatepark and raised £115,000 towards the project say they are “proud” to see it finally open.

Beth Lee and Rhianne Lounds say it will be a great facility for youngsters and they are determined to not let a handful of troublemakers ruin it for the majority who want to enjoy it.

NEAA 13-06-12 BE 7 Eastwood coronation skate park. Rhianne Lounds and Beth Lee.

NEAA 13-06-12 BE 7 Eastwood coronation skate park. Rhianne Lounds and Beth Lee.

After hearing about anti-social behaviour at the skatepark in recent weeks, ahead of the official opening, Beth said she felt the benefits would still “outweigh the negatives”.

“It’s not nice to hear something you have worked so hard for has attracted that sort of behaviour but I still think the benefits will outweigh any negatives like that. People will use it for its intended purpose, and to socialise. It will bring a lot of good to the area.

“I feel really proud. I think it’s a really good addition to the town. It proves hard work really does pay off,” she said.

Rhianne agreed and said the official opening event at Coronation Park proved how positive the skatepark was for the town.

“People can’t let a few kids ruin it for the others. It’s not fair to drag it down just because of a small minority. We had a great turn out at the opening last week and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

The idea for the skatepark came about when the two girls, aged just 13, were looking at what could be improved in the area. They went on to personally raise £115,000 for the skatepark, which then attracted additional funding from locals councils and WREN needed to bring the £250,000 project to life.

Rhianne, now 19 and working at Kimberley Leisure Centre, said: “I can’t quite believe that it’s up and running. I’m very proud.”

Eastwood mayor Keith Longdon said: “People want kids to have something to do and I’d go as far as to say this is the best skate park in the county.”