It’s 11:30 Saturday morning at the Incline Indoor Skate & BMX park in Sylvan Lake when a car full of skaters pulls into the parking lot. A willing mother has just driven six 13-16 year olds from Calgary so they could skate for the day. Getting up early and hitting the highway is routine for these passionate skaters, who recruit a driver and make the two-hour trip almost every Saturday.
What would it mean for this Calgary crew if there were an indoor park in Calgary? “We’d save time (from the traveling), it would be more practical, and keep us fit in the winter” said Claudio aged 14. 13-year-old Austin said that an indoor park would, “keep us out of trouble, not skating in malls and the +15.” Ashton (15) agreed saying, “we wouldn’t get in trouble skating where not allowed. Cochrane local Brandon (13) would really appreciate, “being able to skate year round, when we want.” Claudio and Ashton both agreed that without Incline they’d be sleeping in, watching TV, playing video games, and generally being lazy if it weren’t for Incline. At 16, Ryan sums it all up, saying, “Bring The Source back!”
This carload of Calgary skaters was not the only ones to make the trip this frosty December day. Like other highway 2 travelers, they agree that Calgary really needs an indoor skatepark. After chatting with them and watching them enjoy a day in the skatepark, I have to wonder how many hundreds of Calgary youth would be having fun, staying fit, staying out of trouble, and not sitting glued to the TV during our long, cold winter if Calgary had it’s own “Incline”?