It is generally agreed that the needs of teenagers are not very well met in Goldsworth Park, a point which was made to me by teenagers I have spoken to over the last year or so. The playground is for “little ones” (who will, of course, grow up to be teenagers), the basketball court is often used as an overspill car park at weekends and the half pipe skateboard facility which used to be there was removed when it became dangerous.
Recently, there has been a surge in interest in skateboarding, which will feature in the Olympics for the first time this year. According to Skateboard England, its popularity has grown by 24% over the past year. It is interesting to see that West End Parish Council has recently invested significantly in a modern skatepark and Brighton Girls School is building a skatepark and offering a scholarship in skateboarding as they believe that it develops the attributes of perseverance, concentration and confidence.
According to the local teenagers I have spoken to, the facilities for skateboarding in Woking generally are outdated and, in Goldsworth Park, non-existent. A modern skatepark close to the BMX track and basketball court in Goldsworth Park would fill a gap in the provision of sporting facilities in the area. This would sit well with the BMX track which, hopefully, will be restored and improved soon and, like the BMX track, could have zones suitable for beginners as well as zones for more experienced skateboarders. The details have yet to be worked up but there are plenty of ideas out there.
There is a view that skateboarding is primarily for boys, although Brighton Girls School would not agree, so if there are ideas out there for facilities needed for teenage girls, please let me know.
We have the opportunity to log this idea on the Your Fund, Surrey Commonplace Map and, if there is sufficient support from the local community and youth organisations, hopefully attract some funding from the £100m set aside for projects to improve communities.
Please would you let the Chair of the GPCA CIO know your views on the proposal for a skatepark In Goldsworth Park Recreation Ground by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 10th April 2021.
Chair, GPCA CIO
Registered Charity No 1185628