An extreme sports shop on Flowergate in Whitby celebrated its first anniversary last week.
Witness Surf and Skate is owned by 23-year-old Bill Orrell, who is now appealing for greater opportunities for youngsters who want to get active.
“Everyone complains that their kids just sit around playing computer games,” explained Bill. “Everyone is trying to promote healthy kids and skating is an active sport.
“For example, it’s brilliant for developing determination as it can take months to learn a trick, and when you fall over you learn to get up and try again.”
Bill explained the skate park located on the West Cliff’s Archery Green is not fit for beginners who are interested in trying out sports such as skateboarding or BMX.
He is asking for the council to consider redeveloping the site to allow more people to use it, which could have benefits for the entire town.
This has been the case in Scarborough, where the new facilities at Hairy Bob’s Skate Park have proved hugely popular and has even hosted competitions.
This has the potential of bringing money into the local economy and also provides teenagers who come to the town with their family on short breaks with a way to pass the time.
Skateboarding is a multi-billion pound industry and is rapidly-growing in popularity, while other traditional sports are in decline.
Although it is popular with youngsters, people of all ages can take up the sport.
“If I am skating down a road, people look at me like I’m weird because I am over 10,” said Bill. “There is a stereotype of skaters as punks who go around causing trouble, but I have kids come into the shop saying there is nothing to do in Whitby, and a better skate park could solve that problem.”
In addition to skaters, a better facility would provide a community hub for youngsters to socialise in a well-lit a safe environment.
Anyone who wants to join Bill’s appeal is urged to contact him at Witness Surf and Skate or to find the shop on Facebook.