Littlehampton Skate Jam: Skaters give Littlehampton Skatepark seal of approval at its official opening

Skaters have spoken of the great community atmosphere at Littlehampton Skatepark, as more than 100 people gathered for its official opening.

The Littlehampton Skate Jam proved how popular the skatepark has been with all age groups since it opened two years ago.

It has taken until now to officially open the refurbished skatepark in Sea Road due to poor weather affecting the first date and then Covid-19 delaying big events.

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Scores of skaters turned out on Wednesday to give the skatepark the seal of approval, and professional riders were there to run demo sessions and show their skills.

Arun District Council chairman Jim Brooks and Littlehampton mayor Michelle Molloy cut the ribbon to officially open Littlehampton Skatepark

Arun District Council chairman Jim Brooks, who cut the ribbon with Littlehampton mayor Michelle Molloy, said: “Skateboarding is a thriving sport and even more youngsters will be keen to give it a go after seeing the success of Sky Brown at the recent Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re delighted to see the skatepark officially open. We knew it would be a hit, as we asked skaters what they wanted before doing the refurbishment, to ensure that we catered for their wishlist.

“It’s great to be here to see so many young people of all abilities having such a great time – and some really impressive displays, too.”

The Littlehampton Skate Jam proved how popular the skatepark has been with all age groups since it opened two years ago

The town’s thriving skate community has been enjoying the skatepark since September 2019. It was designed by Maverick Industries, which organised the skate jam.

Buoyed by Team GB’s Olympic medal success, more than 100 people turned up on skateboards, BMX bikes and scooters in the sunshine.

Miss Molloy said: “The skatepark is a fabulous addition to our town’s facilities. The turnout is proof of how much this community resource is important to young people.

“I was delighted to learn that there’s a growing skateboarding community who meet at the park on a weekly basis to skate and learn new skills together.”

The Littlehampton Skate Jam proved how popular the skatepark has been with all age groups since it opened two years ago

Board AF, a skate shop located nearby, runs informal Sunday sessions with more than 100 members.

Founding members Josh Lane and Mark Harfield said: “Each Sunday between 8am and 11am, skateboarders of all abilities gather at the park to share their experience and learn together.

“It has grown quickly and sometimes there’s 70 of us here with families coming down as far as from London.

“We grew up in Littlehampton and always shared our love for skateboarding. The group is a way of giving something back and our dream is to open an indoor skateboarding venue.”

Keen skaters Izzy and Lily-Rose, both 12, said use the skatepark as often as they can and think the new facility is amazing.

Izzy said: “It’s very, very good. There’s always a nice community here when we come down, they give you tips if you’re struggling and if you fall over, they come over to make sure you’re okay.”

Lily-Rose said she had been skateboarding for nearly a year because her brother and his friends were skaters.

She added: “There’s loads of people here to help you to learn tricks, it’s a great community. We always really enjoy coming down.”

Arun District Council and Littlehampton Town Council worked in partnership to bring about the skatepark upgrade, with a total budget of £200,850. Littlehampton Town Council provided £81,425, Sport England gave a £45,800 grant and the remainder of the funding was provided by Arun District Council.