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Skatepark suggested for Cumberland

An adult skateboarder who considers himself an advocate for youth not into organized sports wants to see a skatepark built in Cumberland.

Cam Matthews, a 36-year-old mechanical engineer, suggests a metal half-pipe is the best solution for a small community in terms of expense, mobility and learning opportunities. The courts behind the junior high school and those at Village Park are possible locations, Matthews said at Tuesday's council meeting.

He estimates the cost between $50,000 and $150,000, which would come from a combination of government grants and fundraising.

A quote from the Canadian Ramp Company of about $61,000 would result in a footprint of about 20x60 feet.

Construction of concrete skateparks ranges from $200,000 to $400,000, according to Matthews.

Along with representing a greater number of young people, he said skateparks help keep recreation local, which appeals to young families.

"Cities without skateparks become skateparks," he quipped, referring to the notion that skateboarding happens with or without a park.

There are 110 skateparks in B.C., many in small communities. Matthew received positive feedback from speaking with eight communities. He noted concerns about park locations, which ideally are accessible, in plain view and near other amenities.

"I think that shows that society embraces the skatepark," Matthews said, noting the sport has a lower injury rate than football, hockey and basketball.

He hopes for approval of the concept, and allocation of staff time to determine potential park locations.

Coun. Roger Kishi — noting the topic has been under discussion many years — praised Matthews for providing valuable information that could be added to a master plan.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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