Lords of Dogtown - A Skate Park for Telegraph Hill?

Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He's edgy, he's "in your face." You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this is a dog who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly. Could we put him in more of a "hip-hop" context? I feel we should Rasta-fy him by... 10 percent or so.
- The creation of Poochie the skateboarding dog on The Simpsons

The Skate Park Action Group is a coalition of local parents and young people working to create a skate park in Telegraph Hill.

At a public event in the basketball court in Telegraph Hill lower park on February 27th, 11am-3pm, you'll be able to view their designs and find out about the potential sites in the area.

A skate park would not only be an important new sports facility for the area, it would address the problem of noise generated by skating on the streets. Together with the new cricket pitch being developed in Hilly Fields, it would provide a massive boost for local sport, which is currently poorly provided for.

The young people (aged 11-14) involved in the project have already presented their case to the Youth Opportunities Fund and are waiting to hear whether the application has been successful. Meanwhile, the funding for the public consultation has been provided by the Telegraph Hill Assembly.

Skateboarding, like football, has flourished as an urban sport, because it doesn't require a lot of space, just a few smooth surfaces, rails and ideally some ramps. A skate park could therefore be built without ruining the park. The park would double as a venue for BMX riders and in-line skaters. Organisations like Sport England have identified skateboarding as an important way to encourage more young people to live healthier lifestyles.

The idea already has the support of Sergeant Karl Parish of the Police Safer Neighbourhoods team, who says:

"At present the young people on Telegraph Hill are travelling great distances from their homes to enjoy these facilities in other areas. My team and I would welcome the development of a Skate Park on the ward.”

One of the event organisers, Sophie Beswick, explains:

"The purpose of the Consultation is to let local residents come and see for themselves what we hope to achieve and to meet the designers and comment on possible sites. We have had incredible support so far from within the community but of course there are a few people who are worried about the impact this would have on noise, views etc. We need these people to come along on Saturday so they can make the views known and hopefully we can allay some of their fears."

With thanks to Tamsin for her help with the story.