THE revamp of the Bega Skate Park is nearing completion, closing the final chapter on a 13-year project.
In the coming weeks, the park will boast a unique skate bowl in the Bega Valley.
The idea of a skate park in Bega first came about thanks to Bega Lions Club member Bryson Banfield.
Mr Banfield unsuccessfully applied for government grants in early 2000, but he is now seeing the rewards for his persistence.
In 2009, Mr Banfield told the BDN the Bega skate park was “crying out for either demolition or completion” (10/2/09).
“Demolition was not an option for us,” he said.
Last month, Mr Banfield and South Coast Skateboarding Club president Finn Askew began plans for expanding the park by adding a skate bowl.
Mr Banfield said the Bega park had already attracted great interest from local skate enthusiasts.
Mr Askew, who has years of experience designing skate parks, said it was his dream to see a bowl in Bega.
He said he was pleased with how the project was progressing.
“The bowl is 15x4 metres long, 2.5 metres deep – it’s 180 square metres extra,” Mr Askew said.
“The project has been on the go for a while now and it’s finally coming true.”
Mr Askew said he ordered concrete tiles to be laid onto the bowl, in the final step of the project.
“The concrete tiles will look the part – it will be an old-school pool,” he said.
“The tiles make it original, like before skate parks were built.
“It will have a new-age design, a perfect radius and be like the skate bowl in Bondi – it is unique to this area.”
According to Mr Banfield, the project received $45,000 for the park’s first upgrade from the Federal Government’s Stimulus Package in 2009.
A further $65,000 had now been allocated to extending the skate bowl from the sports grant upgrade program, he said.
Mr Banfield said key to the project’s success has been the Bega Valley Shire Council’s sport and recreation levy.
“The one per cent rates have seen some allocated to this project,” he said.
“We really appreciate the support from council.”
Mr Askew said the project would be completed in the near future with a grand opening day.
He said he hoped to see Australian skateboarding champion Reece Warren attend the day.
“Reece hails from Eden so we hope to get him up here to show us what we can do,” Mr Askew said.
Meanwhile, the Bega Lions Club recently finished constructing two new bus shelters in Bega.
The new shelters are located at the end of Carp St, next to The Oaks Retirement Village, and the second is in Lynjohn Drive, next to the Montessori school.