I attended skate camp at the Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark (KSM) in Port Hardy on July 17.
It’s hard for me to properly express how much I enjoyed it, so I’ll just say it was an awesome time that made me feel a tad bit nostalgic for my own childhood.
When I showed up at the park, the first thing I did was interview ‘coach’ Patrick Kitto about the camp (this was the first one they have held in Port Hardy).
I then asked a couple of the kids how much fun they were having, and after hearing how excited they were, I said “Okay, I’m gonna grab my board from my car.”
The sun was shining, the kids all had helmets on and were having a blast running/skating around, and the two instructors got to spend some one-on-one time with each kid, helping them progress their skills.
It was really cool seeing the kids learn how to push their boards around, race each other across the park, ride down the ramps, and start to carve and tic-tac. There were a few bumps and bruises from falling down, but everybody got right back up and kept on skating.
It brought back some great memories from when I spent many a carefree summer afternoon riding my beat up skateboard around Port Hardy.
I saw the same kind of happiness on the kids’ faces who were attending the camp when they bombed down the massive ramps at the park for the very first time and didn’t fall.
Now that the camp is over, I think it’s an appropriate time to tackle this subject for an editorial.
We would see way more youth getting out and being active instead of playing video games if Port Hardy had a new skatepark for them to use their skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, and bikes at.
It’s bizarre to me that a place with a population (as of 2016) of 4,132 people doesn’t have an up-to-date skatepark, yet Alert Bay, a place with roughly 400 people (around 1,200 total on Cormorant Island), has a brand new park.
Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’m going to throw out some questions and hopefully someone will be kind enough to write a letter to the editor and give me some answers.
Why do we still have the plastic ramps that have been there since 2003? Why is the concrete still chipped and cracked in places?
Why is there garbage at the park most days I go there? Why doesn’t it get swept and cleaned regularly?
Why hasn’t council/parks and rec committee shown interest in having an up-to-date skatepark that they’re actually proud of and can use to attract tourists like Tofino does?
When I was a teenager, we had a wooden skatepark hidden behind Port Hardy Secondary School.
I skated on the street instead of using it because the park was in a bad location and I was always worried what would happen if I went there.
The KSM Skatepark is located in a good spot. It’s visible from the local RCMP building, and it’s near the civic centre so it should be getting cleaned regularly.
When I spoke with Patrick at the skate camp, he said he’d really like to see Port Hardy build a nice new cement park, much like the one Alert Bay has.
I’d like to see it too.
Port Hardy needs a new pool and a new skatepark.
*Thank you to Melinda Dennison from Port Hardy Recreation for organizing Port Hardy’s first ever skate camp and making it a reality.