The territory’s skateboarders, bikers and scooters “will no longer have to hop the fence” to get into the skatepark, according to Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn.
On Sept. 14, the new accessible skatepark in Riverdale, just over the bridge, officially opened to the public.
“The Government of Yukon is proud to support sport and active living in the territory,” said Mostyn. “It’s taken a lot of work, but we’re finally here with this new exciting facility.
“We are proud to support improvements to local infrastructure around the territory that help Yukoners live healthy and happier lives.”
Mayor Dan Curtis said the new skatepark shows Whitehorse is a community for everyone.
“This skatepark is not just modern, safe and inclusive, but it’s one of the nicest and best in all of Canada and that really makes me proud,” said Curtis.
Both Mostyn and Curtis thanked many people for getting the new skatepark built — it was a project 10 years in the making. Both mentioned the Skate For Life Alliance, formed in 2013, for helping both levels of government throughout the project.
Skate For Life Alliance president Joe Zucchiatti said the new skatepark is a “dream come true.”
“A lot of us were just pinching ourselves throughout the process and to see it finally done, bigger and better than we ever initially imagined was gratifying in a way I can’t describe,” said Zucchiatti.
Zucchiatti said the popularity of skateboarding has been on the rise.
“Skateboarding is on the uptick and that’s largely due to the pandemic,” said Zucchiatti. “Kids needed something to do that wasn’t organized and outside.
“We’ve seen a lot of young kids taking up the activity and a greater number of girls picking it up which is fantastic.”
Zuchiatti said he expects the growth of skateboarding to continue with the new facility.
“This thing is state of the art,” said Zuchiatti. “You’re seeing a lot of kids coming from the freestyle skiing and snowboarding worlds picking up skating. It’s just another way to have fun.”
With the new facility, Zuchiatti said Skate For Life will look to work with other organizations to hold clinics and competitions.
“With a facility like this, the sky’s the limit,” said Zuchiatti. “I mean, we could have world-class events here.”
The project cost $3.5 million. The federal government put $2.6 million toward the facility from the Investing in Canada Fund — the territory funded the remainder.
The park is designed to be fully accessible and a place that will allow all levels of skateboarders, BMXers, scooters and wheelchair MX athletes to practice their skills.
Contact John Tonin at email@example.com