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Letter: Tri-Cities needs more places to skateboard

Not every child wants to play soccer or hockey, writes Port Coquitlam parent Brian Cunningham.
A skateboarder on a quarter-pipe, while two friends film with their cellphones.

The Editor,

I really like the fact that you are covering stories on the lack of indoor skate parks in the Tri-Cities.

Skateboarding really gets the short end of the stick when it comes to usable spaces.

On paper, it looks good that the cities have made all these new skate spots in the community. But I'm sorry to say that they are a big waste of money because they don't cater to all skateboarders; they are small and made to cater to beginners.

The one up in Sheffield Park in Coquitlam shares its space with a garden and a basketball/hockey net. If there is any other sport going on there, you can't skateboard safely.

My son is nine years old — born and raised in Port Coquitlam. He has dreams of going to the Olympics for skateboarding.

We have been driving to New Westminster for close to four years every dry day, as it has the best bowl in the Lower Mainland. But even that city is missing the point: I see lights all over the park for other sports in the winter months while we're left standing in the dark.

We would really like to see a real skate park built — one that would consist of vert bowl and street.

In the winter, we travel a lot back east to the CJ Skatepark, as well as to California. This is money been spent by a young family to fill our son's dreams.

Not every child wants to play soccer or hockey.

We end up in the Real Canadian Superstore underground parking lot, sharing the space with the homeless who have come over from the RainCity shelter at 3030 Gordon Ave. in Coquitlam.

We go to Surrey's Chuck Bailey skate park because there are lights and a covered bowl; however, every winter, when we need the space, there is fire, garbage, drug paraphernalia and God knows what.

Basically, at the end of the day, we don't need any more small, temporary spots.

We are in desperate need of a real spot were people can feel safe to learn and, if they want, to advance to a pro level.

Feel free to look at my son's Instagram account at @mjcsk8. It takes a lot of work just to get to his level.

Please, before the cities waste anymore money, please talk to Canada Skateboards.

- Brian Cunningham, Port Coquitlam