FEILDING’S nationally-ranked skateboarder, Sean Cupples, is on a mission – to establish an indoor skatepark at Makino Park as part of the proposed Leisureville concept.
And the seriousness of the 15-year-old Feilding High School pupil’s intention was sharply underlined during public hearings on the Manawatu District Council’s 2008/09 Draft Annual Plan.
Sean not only spoke to his submission, but also presented council with a cheque for $349.20 as an initial contribution towards the Leisureville proposal.
“An indoor skatepark will be a very positive thing for Feilding,” he told council, “and be somewhere where people can have a good time and chill out.”
He said the indoor facility (best sited where the old wooden fortress used to be) would be ideal for skateboarders, BMX riders and roller bladers and more suitable than the existing skatepark in South Street that was open to the weather and often trashed by vandals.
“It will be a good alternative and something that can provide income for Feilding.”
Hamilton is the only centre in New Zealand that has an indoor skatepark and the appearance of one in Feilding is likely to attract national and international skaters to the region.
Sean, who is hoping to reach top ranking in the national 16 and under age group this year, said the money was raised at a skateboarding competition organised by the Feilding New Life Church’s “Young Example Setters” youth group.
“The council seemed very happy with the presentation,” said Sean. “Hopefully, there will be more to come.”
In fact, a further $220 has been raised after a skateboarding demonstration, “Taking It To the Streets”, in Palmerston North last Saturday.
New Life Church youth leader, Liz Perawiti, said Sean and his skateboarding colleagues were serious about raising money for the skatepark as they believed in the Leisureville concept and the impact it would have on the community.
“They also want to make a difference, lead by example and be positive role models in the community. They want to show what can be achieved when you set your mind to something.”
Manawatu District Mayor, Ian McKelvie, said the “unexpected” donation was welcomed by council.
“It’s quite an amazing thing because it gives the community a bit of a tangible lead as to what people are thinking,” he said.