Boys in bid for new skate park

Ben Blakeston (left) and Ben Wright who gave a PowerPoint presentation to members of the Airedale Neighbourhood Management Board of their proposals for a skate park for Airedale. It went very well and the board is now going to help them with funding.
Ben Blakeston (left) and Ben Wright who gave a PowerPoint presentation to members of the Airedale Neighbourhood Management Board of their proposals for a skate park for Airedale. It went very well and the board is now going to help them with funding.
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PIONEERING pupils Ben Wright and Ben Blakeston have come up with a ‘wheely’ good idea for a new skate park in Airedale.

The pair – both in year eight at Airedale Academy – are campaigning for the skate park to be built on land near Kershaw Avenue and have collected 200 signatures of support from classmates.

Ben Blakeston, 11, of Acacia Drive, said: “I think a park would be good for anybody who likes to skateboard, roller blade and ride their scooter.

“We think it will get young people to exercise more and it will be a fun and safe place to go. At the moment we have to get a lift to go to other skate parks and it can be quite expensive at some places.

“All our teachers have been very supportive and they have given us some ideas on how to make the park the best it can be.”

Airedale Neighbourhood Management Board – which includes local councillors, police officers and Airedale Academy’s principal Michaela Blackledge – is backing the boys’ proposal after the pair gave a presentation about the skate park.

Ben Wright, 12, of Crewe Road, said: “We were a bit nervous proposing it to the board but they thought we did it very professionally and they seemed to really like our idea.

“We did a lot of research before the presentation and looked at other skate parks, the costs of building one and the benefits of a skate parks in towns.”

Dr Richard Sloan, the board’s press officer said: “The two boys made a brilliant presentation which must have been daunting for them.

“The boys pointed out that skating would reduce anti-social behaviour and increase fitness, which has been shown to aid learning. “The board unanimously supported their idea and promised to look into funding.”

Mrs Blackledge said: “I am incredibly proud of the boys that they have taken the initiative to do this and look at the bigger picture.

“They have researched their project extremely well and shown that they are capable of thinking about the benefits for everyone around here.

“This is the first petition that’s been done in that school year and it’s so impressive that they wanted to do this at such a young age.”