Playgrounds long accepted in parks help develop neuro-motor skills in young children and aid their early development but little is provided for older children and adolescents to support their development outside organized team sports which may not be very beneficial due to a strong emphasis on winning and many lose interest in these activities at adolescence. Some statistics show physical activity drops off at this age.
Recreation has long been recognized as a tonic for many social ills, it can provide meaning, satisfaction and a sense of belonging, help develop social skills and self esteem, relieve stress, anxiety and aggression and generally promote both physiological and psychological well being.
Unfortunately many seem to have no knowledge of or concern for the many positives a skatepark provides and often only seem to look at building a skatepark in response to nuisance street skating and opposition to bans. This bears an interesting and perhaps ironic similarity to the U.S. playgrounds movement of last century, which at least one historian has noted was not brought about by some noble desire to improve the quality of life of the masses but simply to get the large numbers of newly arrived migrants from using the street as their playground.
An unprecedented number of skateparks are now being constructed around the globe but perhaps most importantly skating is something a great many young people choose to do and surely such a healthy pursuit should be encouraged and not simply banned.
- U.S. Parks and Recreation Magazine
In 2008 there were over 13-million skateboarders in the U.S., 93.7% are younger than 24.
When one considers that there are about 80 million people in the U.S. between the ages of 5 and 24, it suggests that 1 of 7 youth in the nation are skateboarders.
A skatepark can provide a safe social venue to burn off youthful exuberance in a healthy manner thus treating the cause rather than the symptoms of delinquent behavior and saving communities in policing and health costs.
- Public Skatepark Development Guide
WHY A SKATEPARK?
Due to the growing population of skateboarders, safety concerns, and the need for positive healthy activities for our youth.
• Creates a top quality regional attraction
• Strengthens community image and creates a sense of place
• Contributes to the health and physical well-being of the community
• Provides positive youth development in a safe, secure environment
• Develops new community partnerships
USA Today reported that anywhere from 2-3 skateparks are built each week in the US.
Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports among females. Females make up 15% of skateboarders.
Hospital visits per participant: