Sk8ing grinds to near halt in winter

JEREMY NOLAIS
METRO CALGARY
Published: November 18, 2011 5:39 a.m.

Kickflips and ollies are few and far between once the snow hits Calgary as recent closures have left just one indoor facility open to skateboarders.

Volunteers have opened up the gym at Dalhousie Community Church on Tuesday nights during the winter months for the past 12 years; however, attendees said more than 100 boarders can come through, creating a tight squeeze.

Jason Dueck, who helps organize the Tuesday meetup, said to his knowledge, no designated indoor skatepark has lasted in the city more than two years.

“We provide consistency,” he said. “This at least gives them one place…. It’s a safe environment for kids to come and learn in a community setting.”

Groups like the Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts have long lobbied for a permanent indoor facility in the city through online petitions and other initiatives, but it appears little progress has been made.

Partnerships with community associations have been put forth as a possible alternative but no new parks have been opened to date, forcing skaters like Auburn Bay resident Brent Gwilt to make the long trek to Dalhousie in search of ramps and rails.

The 19-year-old questioned why his sport is seemingly forgotten in the winter unlike other activities, such as tennis and soccer.

“I think we aren’t taken seriously,” Gwilt said.

“We need more parks….

It’s horrible.”

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