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:
To create dedicated, modern facilities for the urban sports community
To promote urban sports as an important part of an active lifestyle that can improve health and wellbeing and provide an outlet for creativity
To challenge the stigma surrounding urban sports and educate the public on the societal benefits
To diversify and modernise Jersey’s leisure and activity offering
To replace the New North Quay skatepark and enable the area to be developed
Funding is also being sought through the Government Plan 2022 – 2025 for facilities in the north and east of the island. Once granted, the exciting work to decide on their location and design will begin. These facilities will be delivered as part of an incremental programme over the coming years.
Jersey Skateparks Association (JSA)
The Jersey Skateparks Association (JSA) is the official body representing all the views and needs of its members. They provide a voice for any and all users of any present and future facilities within the island of Jersey; this includes – but is not limited to – skateboarding, BMX, scooter, rollerblades and quad skate users. Their intention is to develop the sports through the creation of facilities and provide pathways of progression from beginner to elite riders, and provide input from a riders point of view, to help and advise in the installation and/or improvement of facilities around the island.
They aim to provide a fair and open forum for any park users (or their families), so as to share any ideas that can help achieve the correct and appropriate facilities island wide.
More information about the JSA can be found on their Facebook page.