Skate of Independence for Ilkley

(7197212)A skateboarder and a BMX rider at Ilkley skate park

(7197218)A skateboarder in action at Ilkley Skate Park

(7197221)A promotional poster for the event at Ilkley Skate Park on July 4

First published in Local news

SKATEBOARDERS will be out in force on July 4 for a 'Skate of Independence' raising money to revamp facilities at the town's skate park.

Pro-riders will show off their skills at the skate park, on the edge of East Holmes Field, off New Brook Street, and attractions include competitions and music from a DJ, as a bid to raise money for a the skate park's new look gets off the ground.

While bikes will be the focus for many in Ilkley on the day - as the Grand Depart of the Tour de France races through town - members of community getting behind the revamp bid hope to promote other sports on two and four wheels to the many residents and visitors.

The Skate of Independence will take place from 2pm to 8pm, on July 4 - American Independence Day.

Young skateboarders and scooter riders will be able to enter the competition simply by turning up on the day with their own board or scooter.

There will also be a design forum, giving children and teens the chance to have their say on the rebuild project..

The skate park itself was built 12 years ago, thanks to an intensive six-month push by Ilkley residents to raise the money needed. But as well as the structure itself ageing, the park no longer caters for all those children and young people who would like to use it.

Organiser, Simon Cape, says scootering, aboard push-along 'microscooters' has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly with younger chioldren. While the Ilkley skate park was built for skateboards, it was not built with scooters in mind.

The redesign of the skatepark would include facilities for scooter riders, as well as improvements for all those who use it.

Mr Cape said: "We hope to rebuild the skate park. Scootering has really taken off, this sport has almost taken over from skateboarding, particular with the younger age group.

"The skate park is more of a skateboard park, so it's kind of appropriate to make it a scooter park too, which will attract the younger kids."

Mr Cape, who was involved with PipeDream, the group which built the skate park over a decade ago, believes the last skateboarding competition in Ilkley was actually held in 1978

Those behind the revamp bid say local businesses have been supportive, as well as the Round Table, and Works Skatepark in Leeds is getting involved in the Skate of Independence event.

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