JULIE BERTRAND/Independent reporter
Skateboarders, parents and supporters gathered at West Stettler Park on Sunday at their first Skate Jam. The event was organized by parents planning to establish a Stettler skateboarding association.
“We would like to put together a little association and in the future, raise some funds for a new skate park,“ said Heidi Fraser.
“The skate park is eight or nine years old. It’s been around for a while.”
The Stettler Kinettes have already made a donation of $1,000.
“That will go towards repairs and upkeep of the existing skate park,” said Fraser.
“We hope to get more donations and we’ll apply for grants to build a new park in town, a few years down the road.”
Fraser often travels elsewhere to bring her son to better skate parks.
“We would love it if we had one here that suited their needs and they were excited to come to,” said Fraser.
Skater Nathan Hatley agrees that the park could be better.
“Some of the ramps, when you go down, your board will clank. Some people don’t want that,” said Hatley.
“There are no rails at the top of the ramps. You can do more tricks with trails.”
Twenty-year-old local skater Jonny Bertin believes that the park isn’t skater-friendly.
“It needs a better build. It’s really hard, even when you’ve skated for a long time, to work with the transitions on the jumps,” said Bertin.
He believes that if the park were better, the number of skaters would grow exponentially.
“A lot of kids will try and it’s just too much and too hard. They don’t get anywhere and don’t see any results so they get over it and don’t want to do it anymore,” said Bertin.
“Normally, at the beginning of the season, a lot of people will show up and then they just remember how these ramps are and they don’t show up for the rest of the season.”
It is the association’s goal to have a Skate Jam every Sunday afternoon for the rest of the summer.
“We’d like to make it bigger, with maybe music and snacks,” said Fraser.
“The public will see that the park is being used.”