Build it and they will come

For years, skateboarders got a bad rap.

They were grungy and probably smoking that evil weed and skating into people on the sidewalks and so on and so forth.

That’s changed. Skateboarding is becoming more and more mainstream, and people are beginning to realize skateboarders are serious athletes. Some of these skateboarders have become household names — Tony Hawk, for example — who is now estimated to be worth $120 million thanks to his skateboarding video games and clothing line. Rodney Mullen and Danny Way also have pushed the sport into the forefront, the latter being the first person to jump the Great Wall of China on a skateboard.

Until four years ago, there was an indoor skatepark in Newnan. However, it closed and skaters have not had anywhere to go in Coweta County since then.

The Coweta County State Park Committee is hoping to change that. Two members, Stephen Porrello and Andrew Churchill, spoke at Tuesday’s county commission meeting, hoping to get a conversation started about building a skatepark in the county.

According to Porrello, there are “probably more than 1,000 different individuals in Coweta County who are very interested in this.” He added their Facebook page has more than 400 likes, and 229 people have signed a petition in support of a public skatepark.

They also said the park could be utilized by those who prefer roller blades, scooters and bicycles.

“We’re not just a bunch of punks,” Porrello said. “We really do have a vision and we think we can do this. We think this is better than sitting around playing video games and watching reality TV.”

Churchill echoed that sentiment, adding that today’s youth are spending less and less time outside, instead being indoors on video games. “They sit around a lot, so we are seeing problems with inactive youth. Skateboarding creates an active lifestyle and promotes good health.”

We agree with Porrello and Churchill. It’s time to focus on getting kids outside. County Administrator Michael Fouts said he would get with the recreation department to see if something could be done. We encourage that discussion and hope the county can find the means and location to make a public skatepark a reality.

Seriously, if the city of Grantville can build a skatepark ...

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