A group of young people who have been trained to become skate park ambassadors and received their ‘stripes’ on Wednesday, 28 Augus t 2013.
Their rank as ambassadors will be recognised by specially designed wristbands.
Their accreditation recognises that they have been trained in the etiquette of skate park use and that they are there to help everyone, especially new or inexperienced users, use the skate park safely. They will also help raise awareness that all users should be aware of their behaviour off the skate park, particularly as they enter and leave through Valley Gardens.
The Ambassador Scheme is part of the Sk8 safe training programme which the council has carried out for the past couple of years with specialist training company Sk8 Safe.
Trish McLaughlin, the council’s Parks Development Manager, said:
The programme has been designed for the Valley Gardens skate park to create approachable points of contact who can pass on their knowledge of how to use the ramps and equipment safely alongside others. The ambassadors will also be a point of contact for anyone using the Valley Gardens who has any questions about the skate park.
The skate park is a popular facility in Valley Gardens and it’s really important that everyone who uses the Gardens enjoys their visit and above all, is safe. How skate park users get to and from the skate park is a concern and we advise all users not to ride or skate through. It is not just young people we need to talk to either, many adults can be seen cycling in the Valley Gardens which of course is something we want to deter – and there is clear signage. Whilst accidents are rare, they do happen and this is a park for people to enjoy with many games and activities taking place. They shouldn’t have to consider avoiding a bike or a skater when they may be chasing a ball or simply strolling along the footpath.
Sarah Agar-Brennan, from the Sk8 Safe team, who designed the programme and trained up the young people, said:
The scheme is designed to raise awareness of the rules of the park by passing on the knowledge and experience the young people have gained over the years.
These first of the Valley Gardens ambassadors have been a joy to work with and they are now versed in what Sk8 Safe and the council expect of them as ambassadors of the park.