Skaters are doin' it for themselves
Support for Strand-on-the-Green skate board park grows
A team of eleven year old skate boarders have earned the support of their local community with their plans for a skate board park. Instead of complaining that there is nothing for them to do and no where for them to go, they have showed commendable initiative which has captured the imagination of fellow Chiswick youths, some young at heart dudes and councilors.
Local father of three and founder of the Chiswick Film Society / Chiswick Movie Theatre, Lawrence O’Connor explained why he has stepped up as the Skate Board Park’s first sponsor; “Whilst acknowledging that there are some play areas for the very young local to Strand-on-the-Green (albeit that at least two are in the smog-footprint within inches of the A4/M4), as a father I am aware of the dire need for diverse recreation facilities in our immediate area.”
He went on to explain, “As one of my children is a teenage boy, I am aware of how unsafe and unwelcoming our streets, pavements, footpaths and, dare I say it, community is of him and his peers 'hanging-out' together - however harmless their pursuits. A skatepark would provide not only the practical benefit of somewhere to skate but would be a natural meeting place and may even foster a sense of belonging for our youth: our local teenagers may actually perceive that this is a token that they are valued by the community of which they are a part rather only the butt of constant negative perception. And perhaps, in the future, they would reciprocally value and treasure their local area more in return.”
Kathleen Healy of Friends of Dukes Meadows echo this thought stating that, “There are few low cost facilities and places to hang out for young people. One of our early projects was getting a five a side cage built on Dukes Meadows, it is used just about every day. We also helped set up a youth club in the hall on the Meadows, which is funded by local company Intelsat. These things seem to have made a big difference, graffiti and vandalism in the area has reduced to almost none. I think valuing our young people and providing them with places to meet and entertain themselves is a good way of reducing crime and anti social behaviour.”
With concern about the level of crime and anti social behaviour on Chiswick’s streets at an all time high, 11 year old Joel Brocklehurst’s initiative and tenacity is widely perceived as a breath of fresh air.
Further sponsors and support are actively being sought. Clearly a passionate supporter of the initiative, Lawrence O’Connor states, “The initiative, daring and tenacity that Joel Brocklehurst has shown in not just complaining about the issues that he sees around him but to actually demonstrate that he understands that he can take responsibility for change and effect that change simply MUST be supported as MUCH as possible by all of us who care about the future of society and we should continue to provide as much affirmation to him as possible that he is setting a great example to us all.”
The Chiswick Film Society are auctioning 4 exclusive tickets for the finale of the Stella Artios Screen Tour of Raging Bull to be screened at a fantastic East End boxing venue on Wednesday 17th November @ 8.00pm (doors open at 7.00pm). See link above if you wish to bid.
They are hoping that all those who can will bid with huge generosity and for other local businesses and institutions to follow their lead and show their support in whatever way they can.
November 9, 2004