Permanent Skateboard Park for Malvern
This petition had 157 supporters
For the past seven years there has been an initiative within the Malvern community to get a permanent skateboard park built for the local skateboarders.
The Skateboard Park initiative first started seven years ago by a local high school teacher at Lester B. Pearson C.I named Randy Pedersen along with Garth Levy who was also a Detective Constable in the 42 division, who both saw a rising population of skateboarders within the community. Together they created the Skateboard club at the school and recruited other students who were interested in the sport. The club received funding from the Cops & Kids Pro Action Grant which they used to build their own skateboards and obstacles to practice and improve their skills with. Soon after Malvern Family Resource Centre took notice of the club and offered their help in trying to build a permanent skateboard park in the community. Together they reached out to their local councillor Raymond Cho at the time and proposed the idea of a permanent park for the youth within the community.
From there, MFRC started a pilot project by applying to the Community For Action Grant from the United Way to help the students build more obstacles and got them free space at the tennis court beside the Malvern Recreation Centre to practice at. The pilot project was a success as many more youth got involved into the sport and project and offered their help. The project received grants from both the City of Toronto Community Recreation and the Provincial grant. These two grants allowed for the youth to access the Hockey Arena within the Malvern Recreation Centre and use the space as a seasonal skateboard park. We started to build more obstacles for the park, acquired storage for the obstacles and also ran competitions. Youth leaders of the project also received many trainings such as the Skateboard Instructor training which helped them teach kids and youth within the community who were interested in learning how to skateboard. The seasonal park has been running for three years now and there have been over three hundred participants that have come out to skateboard and use the space.
The community of Malvern has been known to be an at-risk community and over these past few years there has been a lot of positive change within the community and the initiatives the youth have been taking on, one of them being the skateboard project. What started off as a small school club has now grown to be a project that is known throughout the community and city. The project has helped many kids stay off the streets and has given them another extracurricular activity to try and take part in over the summer. Many parents also come out during the summer to the park to show their support to the project and to their kids. Seeing parents come out to support their kids shows just how important projects like these are needed within the community to build stronger relationships between parents and their kids. Local elementary schools have also been showing their support by asking Malvern Family Resource Centre to run skateboard clinics at their schools to have their kids have an alternative sport to do during after-school programs. This project has also helped a lot of youth leaders to come out and show strong support towards getting a positive change within the community.
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