About Bishopston Skatepark Project
We are three local boys aged 14 and we all go to Bishopston Comprehensive School. We created BSP because we realised that there weren't any good free facilities for older children to use in Bishopston. Something needed to change.
Since our beginning in October 2018, we have run surveys throughout the community, held skating sessions, become award-winning activists and more.
BSP is made up of a small group of people aged 14 - 50. We are aiming to get a skate facility known as a pump track in Bishopston. A pump track is a looping asphalt trail of small hills and banked turns. We have recently began working with people from Bishopston Community Council to help us execute our vision of a healthier, happier village.
Why a Pump Track?
WHAT IS A PUMP TRACK?
A pump track is designed for all things on wheels. By combining rolling jumps with turns they are accessible for all. Teaching the basic skills of carrying momentum, balance and speed by using your arms and legs to pump your bike/board/scooter around the track. A feature that a 5-year-old can roll through can be used as a gap jump for a professional.
As our world becomes increasingly overwhelmed by television, video games and internet browsing, kids are spending a lot less time outside with friends. How are kids expected to grow and develop the skills they will need in the real world if they spend all day sitting in front of a screen? Engaging outdoor environments such as skateparks and pump tracks are great places for kids to build vital social skills needed in the 21st century.
Pump tracks are super unique in a way that they are accessible for anyone. People who have never done a sport like this before or professionals. Younger kids would be able to safely play, riding slower without the fear of a crash because of someone going at a different pace. There will be enough space for them to pass.
HEALTHY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
Arguably the most important reason for participating in action sports is the fact that it keeps you healthy and physically fit. Providing a unique and special place for people of all ages is so important in this day and age.
Unfortunately, skate facilities are often perceived as negative environments that attract delinquents and illicit behaviour. Misinformed community members conjure up images of graffiti, smoking, fighting and inappropriate language when they talk about skate hotspots. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, kids will usually find fewer positive ways to occupy their time.
Helping The Environment
One of our goals is to ensure that the environment of Bishopston is looked after. By conserving and possibly planting trees, flowers and bushes throughout the area, our project will be very eco-sound. In addition to planting, we are researching recycled asphalt for the track and upcycled wood for boardwalks.
Rebuilding A Community
We are looking to refurbish Copley Common as soon as possible. Vital connections and friendships are made during sports and rebuilding people's interpersonal relationships will be so important after lockdown. Everybody across the project is working hard to include something for all ages. We hope for chess boards, outdoor classrooms and more.
Utilise Unused Space
Copley Common has been overgrown and marshy for over a century. It used to be a shortcut field, like the adjacent Manselfield Green however it was left unattended for years, unloved. We now want to connect the modern-day with history and create a space that everybody can use. Transforming a space that means so much to the community will be difficult but definitely is possible.