Dozens turn out for new competition

DOZENS of young skateboarders, BMX fans and inline skaters came together to put their skills to the test.

Organisers say between 100 and 150 youngsters, aged between eight and 20, flocked to the Rozzy Plaza skate park, in Hartlepool, yesterday to take part in the fun and games.

Youngsters taking part in the contest at the Rozzy Plaza skate park

Youngsters taking part in the contest at the Rozzy Plaza skate park

It was the first ever event staged at the £400,000 skate park, which has been a big hit since it opened last year.

There were categories for inline skaters, skateboards and BMX riders from around the region to compete in.

The skate park is next to Rossmere Youth Centre, in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool.

The event was organised by youngsters from the management committee at the Rozzy Plaza and staff from Hartlepool Borough Council’s Integrated Youth Support Service.

Peter Robinson, young person support worker and skate park development officer, said: “It was an action-packed day and it was great fun to watch the young people show off their skills.

“The aim was to promote the skate park and this was the first competition event we have staged.

“An awful lot of work has gone into developing the park, especially from the committee members involved from the very beginning.”

Mr Robinson said the aim is for it to be the first of many events.

He said: “We hope to be able to make this a regular event during the half-term holidays.

“Skateboarding, BMX riding and inline skating have increased in popularity in recent years.”

Supermarket worker Grant Green, 20, from the Fens area of town, said: “The event was brilliant and it was great to see young people from across the region coming together.

“The skate park has been a big success since it opened and this was a chance to highlight what Hartlepool has to offer.”

There was other entertainment and activities on the day, including a rodeo bull, a climbing wall, a prize raffle, refreshments and details of Hartlepool youth projects and services.

Rozzy Plaza was set up by Hartlepool Borough Council to provide a managed site where youngsters can develop their skateboarding, BMX and inline skating skills in a safe environment.

Officially there are 400 members, with 75 young people from Hartlepool regularly using the facility, which is accessed via a swipe card.

Young competitors from across the region paid £2 to enter each category.

Prizes on offer ranged from BMX equipment to skateboards and protective clothing. The event was held from 2pm until 8pm yesterday.

For more information about the Rozzy Plaza skate park call Peter Robinson on (01429) 273741 or e-mail peter.robinson@hartlepool.gov.uk

l See tomorrow’s Mail for a picture special from the event.