A group of young people is hoping to tranform a well-used outdoor space in Leven.
The Leven Skate Park was opened back in 2004 after the historic paddling pool, which had lain empty for a number of years, was transformed to create ramps and dips for Levenmouth’s skaters.
The park was made possible thanks to the hard work of a group of young skaters, who worked hard to maintain it and organise events.
After they disbanded, an annual fun day continued thanks to the input of community youth workers in the area, and this year, thanks to the interest of a group of lads interested in boosting the profile of the park, the fun day was attened by over 200 people.
“It was a really good day and we got a good turn out,” said Stuart Kerr, of the aptly named-Levenmouth Skate Board committee.
The group first came together in December and held their AGM in January, appointing office bearers and setting out their main aims.
Short term, ensuring the fun day was a success was their main focus, and thanks to such a great turnout, the group is hoping to hold more events down at the park, offering an event not just for skaters, but the wider community.
They’ve also been working with local artists Andrew Parry and Billy Caulfield to give the park a wee bit of a makeover.
In conjunction with Andrew, they came up with spraypaint designs at the Buckhaven Beehive, and the new artworks were completed ahead of the fun day, while workshops were held for younger skaters on the day.
Billy has also been following their work over the past few weeks, and afilm about the project will be shown at the Fall for the Arts exhibition next month.
Long term, they have a lot of ideas which they hope the community will get on board with.
“Up to now, our focus was on the fun day and we worked really hard on that, meeting every week,” said committee member James Young.
“But we now want to look for funding to allow us to revamp the park and improve it.
“Our main objective is to modernise it, because it has become quite outdated now compared to other, newer facilities in the area.
“There’s a whole skate-tourism thing out there, and we want to make Leven one of the places to be. As skaters ourselves, we know that a good park will make you travel to see what it’s like, so it would be great to attact people to Leven like that.”
Stuart added: “We want the park to encourage creativity and art and make it a place for people to want to come. The fun day did that, and now we want to make improvements for the future.”
Given its former life as a paddling pool, James explained that while ramps were installed, the transistion and alignment to provide the best skating conditions has never been quite right, and they would like to rectify that with some improvements, working with a specialised contractor with previous knowledge of building the parks.
The group has already received a lot of feedback thanks to the fun day, and the members are hoping the community, especially those already using the park, will get in touch and even come onto the committee to help make their future plans a reality.
“It’s really important to us that the skate park remains a social zone where kids and teenagers can come and be themselves.
“If it wasn’t for the skatepark, many of us wouldn’t have met our best friends.”
“We want to reach out to as many people as possible so we can get their input on how best to go forward,” said James. “And it would be great to have others involved, because right now, there aren’t many of us so it does take up a bit of time.
“Plus, we want to have a group we can hand things down to so there are people who can carry on the work when life gets in the way for us! That’s what happened with the original group so we want to make sure we have people interested for the future.” If you would like to find out more about the work the group is doing you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or search for them on Facebook to see pictures and video from the fun day and get updates.