Group makes plea over uncertain future of Rasen’s Mill Road facility

EMN-170313-141255001
EMN-170313-141255001

A group of riders have come forward with their story following confirmation that the Mill Road skate park faces an uncertain future.

The group, aged between 16 and 24, have said they are fearful of losing a facility which has ‘become like a second home’, claiming the loss of ‘their’ park would be ‘heartbreaking’.

Their views come after Market Rasen Town Council said it had shut part of the park because of health and safety reasons.

Although the council has said it could repair damaged ramps in the park, it has called for ideas for the future use of the facility.

However, enthusiasts have said that they have a passion’ for riding and they are part of an inclusive community of riders spanning a large age range.

Ash Appleyard, 16, said: “The skate park has been like a second home to us and has actually shaped us into the people we are today.”

Toby Darragh, 20, said: “Truthfully, that skate park helped me out loads.

“I was passionate about riding scooters so I was at the skate park everyday, that’s where I met the rest of the guys.

“I can say our friendship was formed around our serious attitude to extreme sport.”

The group’s enthusiasm is entrenched in their willingness to help younger riders.

Mikey Clark, 24, said: “I have been teaching young locals how to ride and how to channel their minds into something they love doing.

“Without the use of the skate park in Market Rasen, the rate of crime would go up as they would just use local street spots to ride.”

James Catterick’s commitment to riding has earned him sponsorships, as well as opportunities to tour the country.

James, 21, said: “I started off just riding with friends and having fun and then I started making ‘YouTube’ videos.

“In 2013, I gained my first sponsorship and that kick started my professional career in scootering.

“This led me on tours around the UK, riding in competitions and demos all over.

“Without our little skate park, none of that would have been possible.”

But the group also feels they can be susceptible to unfair judgement by older generations.

Comments left on the Market Rasen Mail’s Facebook page suggested the skate park was used by ‘teenage bullies’ who have ‘no respect’ for the equipment.

Ash Appleyard said: “I feel very strongly about what is being put on social media.

“If bullying has gone on it’s not us. We are all full of praise for each other.”

This isn’t the first time the group has tried to take action to improve and protect their park.

Emilio Molave, 17, said: “Market Rasen offers very little for young children and young adults.

“A few years back, there were talks about a refurbishment or replacement of the skate park.

“We attended a few council meetings and worked closely with the mayor in school. However, little to no changes were made.”

Arran Lancaster, 17, added: “I can fully understand why the council would want to replace the facilities.

“They have been there for over 10 years and have seen better days.

“There are clearly monetary limits to what they can do so I think it would make more sense to repair the park and add an extension, removing the cost of demolition.”

However, the riders are chiefly concerned with protecting the longevity of the park they have grown up with.

James Catterick said: “I remember the park being built and I was there to ride it on the first day it opened.

“To lose my local skate park would be heartbreaking.

“Some parents may not realise it but it is possible to make a career out of riding if you stick with it and push yourself.”