PICTOU – Young skateboarders will soon have a place to go no matter the weather.
© AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS
Ashley George, left, and Luke Smith were busy on Saturday, building an indoor mini ramp in the Pictou Youth Centre.
The Pictou Youth Centre was a noisy place to be on Saturday as volunteers built an indoor mini ramp.
“Skateboarding dies off in the winter in the Maritimes with nowhere to go indoors,” Ashley George said.
George, the owner of Black Belt Machete and a member of the skateboard park committee, has been working on the idea with youth centre coordinator, David Porter, and volunteers for a little over a month.
“It gives kids a good reason to get out of the house and get off the Internet,” George said.
With donations from Black Belt Machete, Hector Building Supplies, Home Hardware and a local skate shop, they were able to cover $1,000 to make the wooden ramp.
It helps to keep youth interested in skateboarding while they work on building an outdoor park.
So far, they’ve raised $10,000 for the park out of the needed $150,000. They’re waiting on approval from the Town of Pictou for a piece of land and will begin to apply for government grants when that process is completed.
Several kids had been asking Porter is they could skate inside, and one joked they needed a ramp in the centre.
From there, the idea took off.
The recreation department in the town were pleased with idea, Porter said, because it keeps kids active.
There’s a need for that in the winter.
“There’s a fear of winter. No one wants to leave the house,” Porter said.
He said the ramp will also help those who use it learn how to show respect for each other.
He estimated that three people would be able to use it at a time, so youth will have to share it.
Paul Boder, 13, can’t wait to try it out.
“It’s going to be awesome.”
He likes to skateboard, but said there aren’t any opportunities in the winter.
He comes to the centre three to four times a week.
“It made a place just to come and hang out with friends and have a good time.”
It’s one extra thing the youth centre has to offer.
Porter stressed the importance of keeping youth engaged in the community outside of school.
Not only does it offer somewhere to go, it gives them chances to prove themselves and see their ideas take off.
He said they average 20 kids a day.
High ceilings and extra space allow for the four-feet high, 16-feet long and 12-feet wide ramp to be built.
George expects the structure to be ready for kids at the beginning of this week.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda