The need for a bigger and better skate park in St Leonards is in the spotlight again following a petition launched by young local Ethan Coleman (pictured with sister Zarah). ‎For more, see page 5. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

St Leonards teen ramps up support for new skate park

September 5, 2019 BY

THE need for a bigger and better skate park in St Leonards is in the spotlight again following a petition launched by young local Ethan Coleman.
‎Ethan, 13, has attracted more than 260 signatures for his change.org petition to the City of Greater Geelong, which began three weeks ago.
“I would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has signed my petition to build a skate park in St Leonards,” Ethan said.
“As a community we are not going to give up until we see that skate park get built.”
Ethan’s petition states that with an increasing population in his town that a new skate park would give kids more things to do.
“Currently in St Leonards the population is rising with new estates opening up,” he said.
“This means there will be more kids coming into the town of St Leonards.
“What are these kids going to do on the holidays and weekends?
“Opening a skate park in St Leonards will make kids more entertained outside rather than being inside on technology.
“Having a skate park in Portarlington and Drysdale is too far to try and put your bikes and scooters into the car.
“So why not have a skate park here?”
Ethan’s petition follows one created by local Jyals Maloney three years ago, which attracted almost 250 signatures.‎
“After countless tries the locals have still not succeeded in the debate to rebuild/upgrade the existing skate park,” Jyals said in his petition statement.
“I believe St Leonards, being the amazing town it is, deserves a working skate park for the large amount of youth living in this town.”
Jyals also created his own YouTube video last year to help raise awareness for his plight.
The video features locals voicing their support that St Leonards needs a new skate park and has the hashtag, #Rebuildstleoskatepark2018.
Acting Director of Community Life Rhona Pedretti said the St Leonards Skate Park was a City of Greater Geelong asset on Crown land, and that any upgrades to this facility would be
considered as part of the region-wide skate infrastructure review, which is currently underway.
Cr Jim Mason said the three Bellarine Ward councillors had been having regular discussions with the St Leonards community about work needed in the town.
“Council allocated more than $400,000 in this year’s budget for a number of projects,” he said.
“If there is strong community support to have the St Leonards skate park upgraded, this is certainly something we’d like to hear for future budget discussions.”
To sign Ethan’s petition visit change.org and search for “St Leonards Skate Park”.

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