The Government recognises the existing and fast-growing popularity and participation in urban sports. In Jersey, this is currently constrained by a lack of suitable existing facilities, which will be further exacerbated by the impending closure of the existing skatepark at New North Quay.
To ensure the skating community is properly catered for, the Government has developed plans for new skatepark facilities which will provide modern, accessible and open facilities for the local urban sports community where participants feel safe and supported and enables progression to a high level. The overall aim is to provide island-wide facilities and turn Jersey into a truly urban sports-friendly island.
Sports that fall under the urban sports umbrella, such as skateboarding, BMX, rollerblading and scootering, offer an alternative to more traditional sports and are a diverse and inclusive means of being active and healthy.
They offer the same widely accepted physical and mental wellbeing benefits of traditional sport, whilst being easily accessed and with participation possible without the formal club structure of other sports. In addition to the obvious health benefits of these sports, it is also proven that they help reduce anti-social behaviour and provide young people with a sense of community.
Skateboarding and BMX featured in the Olympic Games for the first time in Tokyo 2020 and as a result, we expect the demand for facilities to increase even more. Surfing also featured in the Olympic Games for the first time this year and the Government recognises the synergy and crossover of urban sports, particularly skateboarding, with surfing and the opportunity to capitalise on the well-established surfing culture in the island and make Jersey an actions sports destination.
The Skatepark project has five key objectives: