Don’t believe everything you hear about skate parks. A skate park doesn’t always have the best reputation. If you look at any representation in the media, you can see that both the kids and the park are represented by kids who are disrespectful and unkind. The Syracuse Skate Park is different, allowing kids – good kids– to gather together and hone their skills.
Councilman Dave Maughan has firsthand experience with his son. Regarding the Skate Park, he said, “These young kids will spend hours there just working to perfect their tricks and enjoy the activity. So many great things are learned by the diligence to keep working on something hard, by learning to get up repeatedly, and by learning to encourage each other to get better.” Often, the kids that spend a lot of time at the Skate Park are good kids who enjoy being athletic and learning new skills and practicing old ones until they’re perfect.
Parents often accompany these kids so that they aren’t bullied or dragged in with the wrong crowd. The kids can trust both parents and the other kids who are often at the park. Being active is often hard when there are always many temptations to stay inside and just watch what they want to be doing on a screen. Councilman Maughan continues, “When there was a burning need for a stunt scooter for my son, I wondered what my son was interested in and what it would lead to. They may never become YouTube sensations, but they are learning life skills. Someday the lesson of getting back up again (repeatedly) could transfer beyond a skate fall. Someday ‘keep practicing’ may lead to something more material than a briflip or a double tailwhip.”
While there have been reports of mischievous behavior and vandalism, the majority of the kids at the park are good kids; they’re beyond the stereotypical “skaters” we see on TV or in movies. They encourage each other and can continue to have a safe and fun time when they go to the Skate Park. Behavior is a choice, and the kids at our Skate Park have chosen to be good role models and good people.