Efforts to establish the Eyethu Skatepark in Hout Bay have been bolstered by a campaign on Indiegogo, one of the world’s biggest crowd-funding sites.
Although the campaign, “Eyethu Skatepark”, was only officially launched at the beginning of the month, it has already started to trend in New York City, and more than $6 000 (R80 000) has been donated by subscribers.
Project co-ordinator Vicki Scheffel said the Eyethu Skatepark initiative was born out of the need to give Hout Bay’s at-risk youth a safe space to have fun.
“The community, as it is, is severely lacking in safe community recreational spaces. We believe that it is important that that our youth have such spaces. They can be a creative outlet, or a way for kids to find their place,” she said.
The land for the skatepark, next to the sports fields opposite the Hout Bay police station, was made available by the City of Cape Town, and the deal was sealed in February last year after the final documents were signed with the City’s sport, recreation and amenities department (“Setting a date to skate”, Sentinel March 4, 2016).
With the su pport of the City, the Hout Bay Rotary Club and skateboardingorganisation Indigo Skate, all the plans are in place for the skatepark to come to life, with the help of the community and campaign backers.
“We have found that skating has enormous benefits, such as constant learning, building friendships, staying physically active, bridging the gap between diverse backgrounds, developing leadership skills, exposure to positive role models and, most importantly, having fun,” Ms Scheffel said.
The skatepark, she said, would create a much needed safe recreational space for the more than 9 000 children in Hout Bay and set a great precedent for other communities to follow.
“We need the public to come together now and donate to our cause – to help us create a skatepark that will connect, integrate and empower the youth of Hout Bay.
“With your help, Eyethu could become South Africa’s biggest publicly funded community project. It would also serve as a template for other grassroots initiatives to follow, in their own pursuit of envisioning, funding and creating their own public spaces,” she said.
For information and to find out how you can get involved, visit the skatepark website (eyethuskatepark.org.za/ or the Indiegogo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/eyethu-skatepark-community#/