Skate park plea by Sunderland kids

Looking for a skate park nearer to their homes in Macmerry Close, Castletown, are Cameron Smith (11, right) and Ryan Harrison (12).
Looking for a skate park nearer to their homes in Macmerry Close, Castletown, are Cameron Smith (11, right) and Ryan Harrison (12).
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TWO young skateboarders have ramped up their campaign to build a new skate park.

Cameron Smith, 11, and Ryan Harrison, 12, have already collected dozens of signatures on their petition to bring the facility to Castletown.

Youngsters who live in the area have to travel to Herrington Park or Seaburn to enjoy their favourite pastime.

Alternatively, they build their own jumps in local streets and alleys.

Cameron, who attends St John Bosco School, said: “We’ve been given a lot of support from people who live in the area, as well as the kids at school.

“I’ve been into skateboarding for a while now, but I always struggle to find places to go.

“A lot of the kids feel the same.

“It’s difficult to travel to the skate parks. I usually have to ask my dad to take me there, and it can be a bit dangerous if you build jumps in the streets.”

Once completed, the petition will be sent off to council members, the local authority, major funding bodies and Government agencies in a bid to have a combined skate and BMX park built in Castletown.

“We really hope it will help get one built,” said Cameron. “We’ve put a lot of work into it and the petitions are on display in local shops.

“A lot of people have signed them. We’ll just have to see what happens when we send out copies of them.”

Cameron’s dad Wayne, a development manager, from Castletown, said his son and Ryan, a pupil at St Aidan’s School, were determined to make the drive a success.

“It was their idea to start the petition and they’ve pretty much done everything themselves,” said the 38-year-old.

“I know a lot of kids find it difficult to get to the local skate parks and it’s a bit dangerous to build their own jumps in the streets. There is a big safety concern.

“They are hoping to send off the petition in the coming weeks, when they have as many signatures as they can get.

“They want to get as much support as they can.

“They will send copies of it to councillors, the council and other funding groups – pretty much anyone who can help get a skate park built in the area.”

@SunderlandEcho