A community driven project to upgrade a skate park with world class facilities will come to fruition this Saturday when the newly improved Yamba skate park celebrates its opening.
Live music, DJs, skateboarding demos, a ‘skate bowl jam’ competition, food and coffee vans, a welcome to country plus heaps of prizes and free giveaways will feature at the park on the corner of Coldstream Street and River Street from 10.30am.
The park’s new design, featuring a three-metre-deep clover-style bowl and other new obstacles, is the brainchild of a dedicated group of locals, skaters and council representatives who formed the Yamba Skate Working Crew in 2020.
Yamba Skate Working Crew member and Clarence Valley Council Open Spaces supervisor Andrew Auglys, who brought with him experience of working on the famous Bondi skate park in Sydney, when he moved to the Clarence Valley six years ago, said he was asked to be the project manager for the upgrade.
“We met up every few weeks and tried to rally to get some funding for the upgrades and despite always having the support of council, we were pretty unsuccessful in securing funding initially,” Mr Auglys said.
“Then we managed to get some funding for the consultation and design, which was done by Convic skateparks, which was right in the middle of the pandemic.
“I wrestled with them on the design because we wanted to include something for the more advanced level, which is the bowl, for the groms so they don’t have to go to Nimbin or the Gold Coast or leave town to be able to skate at a facility like that.”
Mr Auglys said the consultation and design was finalised at the ideal time when Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan announced the second round of grants under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
“We were shovel ready after a good design and consultation process, several open days and good community feedback and the funding application managed to get over the line,” he said.
“It was a bit of a challenging one for Concrete Skate Parks, the guys who built it, with some of the wettest weather on record.”
A skater himself, Mr Auglys said he was looking forward to taking his five-year-old son to the open day.
“Now it’s almost ready to open, it feels pretty good, it’s awesome,” he said.
“There are just a few little finishing touches to be done this week.”
After announcing $500,000 in funding for the project in October 2021, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said it was exciting to see the upgrades completed.
“The skate park is in the heart of Yamba, surrounded by a newly upgraded playground and also sporting fields,” he said.
“This makes it a great spot for families, young people and tourists.”
Centrally located, the skate park will be a cultural hub for local skaters and visitors, while attracting locals and visitors to the Yamba CBD.
Clarence Valley Council Manager Open Spaces and Facilities Peter Birch said the revamped skate park is now more than 1000 square metres bigger.
“This upgrade is an exciting addition to the Clarence Valley’s busiest skate park,” Mr Birch said.
“This upgrade has been made possible by the passion and dedication of community members that brought the project to life.
“It now not only has such a diverse range of new obstacles, ramps, stairs, rails, flats, and lots of fun, creativity-inspired skateable elements, but also boasts a super advanced and fast three-metre-deep clover-style bowl to rival any skate park on the east coast of Australia.”
In addition to the park’s upgrades, council has increased shaded seating areas, hang out spaces, landscaped gardens with local palms, native grasses and shrubs, and improved pedestrian access.