World-class skating facility the only goal

By Victoria White

6 comments
GENERATIONS: A meeting held at Sk8Zone in Napier yesterday was about ensuring future skaters had a world-class skate park to enjoy. PHOTO/FILE
GENERATIONS: A meeting held at Sk8Zone in Napier yesterday was about ensuring future skaters had a world-class skate park to enjoy. PHOTO/FILE

The large group who gathered at Napier's Sk8Zone yesterday had one common goal - repairing a rift to ensure a world-class facility for future skaters.

Sk8Zone rink manager Kyle Hamilton said yesterday's meeting was "something that needed to happen".

"There was a good turnout covering every demographic we're after, kids, teenagers, parents, adult users, past users, and covering all sports." he said. "Everyone was looking at coming back together as one unified club."

The club had split "years ago" because there was not enough room at Sk8Zone for all codes, he said, but now it was time for the club's next chapter.

After more than 20 years at the site Sk8Zone will be closing, and a new skating area on the former Marineland site will be built as part of the Napier City Council's Marine Parade redevelopment.

Mr Hamilton said, "everyone is trying to work together and present a unified front, it was about what everyone sees the club as, and what they would like to see the club as.

"Now the clubs are together the next decision is ... if the new facility is best suited for the club."

The new facility, designed by world-renowned skate park creator Richard Smith, will cater for all levels of roller skaters and skateboarders, as well as other roller sports. A full skate bowl and wooden ramps will be built and the existing grandstand will be upgraded to give the facility a multi-purpose function.

Sk8Zone was already a world-class facility, Mr Hamilton said, and the club wanted to ensure the new park would be too. It also needed to accommodate all roller-sporting codes, and be a park which would benefit "not just this generation but generations to come".

"We want to create a facility that's [world class] at the moment, but as the sports grow and the club grows ... it's about giving the next generation the canvas," Mr Hamilton said.

"It's about getting everybody together, all the sporting codes. We're eager to push forward and grow."

Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack said council had been working quite closely with the club on the park's design plans, which were not yet finalised.

"We definitely need their input to make it a world-class facility," he said. "The club is instrumental to [the facility's] success."

Mr Hamilton said members saw themselves as having involvement at the new facility - the Napier Skating Club is currently contracted to manage the council-owned Sk8Zone.

In council's business case for the Marine Parade redevelopment, three options were available to council to operate the redeveloped skate park.

Council could elect to operate the facility itself and employ staff to do so, the non-commercial operator of the existing Skate Zone facility could be contracted to manage the new facility, or a new commercial operator could be contracted to manage the new facility.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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