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Saturday 11th May, 2002 - 14:00 BST
Skatepark for Ipswich
Skateboarder Jason Bennett.
Ipswich Skatepark: Jason Bennett doing a Wallride
Ipswich has recently had a new permanent purpose-built skate park constructed for Skateboarders, BMX bikes and in-line skates.

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Listen to the Interview with Skatepark Trustee Shawn Allen.

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Ipswich Skatepark

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HAVE YOUR SAY

Are you a skateboarder or a BMX rider? Tell us what you do and what you think of the Ipswich skatepark.

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Shawn Allen is the Trustee for Bridge park - a new permanent purpose-built skate park for Skateboarders, BMX bikes and in-line skates. He had been working on an appeal to set up the skatepark for many years.

"We had a major meeting at the town hall - that was nearly three and a half years ago and with that we saw there is a need and want for a general skatepark and BMX park in Ipswich.

"To actually get it built it’s only taken us about 5 months, but initially to get all the money and the funding, it’s taken about 3 years - to get all the permission from the lottery and the council," said Shawn.

Shawn Allen at Ipswich Skatepark.
Shawn Allen at Bridge Park - Ipswich Skate park
There has
been great support from different sectors of the Ipswich community for the skatepark, including from the council.



"We’ve had a lot of support from the police, from the council, from general members of the public and from small businesses that have helped get together funding for the whole thing, like independent retail and even the bigger ones like Willis Corroon have supported us in our cause," said Shawn.

Shawn explained that the reason for setting up the skatepark in Ipswich was due to the huge demand from local skateboarders and BMX riders.

"Basically because skating is not allowed on the street, it’s an illegal sport. There will probably be a BI-law now, so we can’t skate in the street. There’s so many children and adults wanting to go skateboarding or ride a BMX or even go roller-blading that we need a general place where everyone can practice their sport.

"I’ve been in Ipswich for approximately seven years now and ever since I’ve came here there’s always been a group and a community of skaters that I’ve hung around with - and we’ve just skated different places - it just takes so long," said Shawn.

Shawn Allen & Ben Jones.
Shawn Allen & Ben Jones at the Skatepark

The Ipswich Skate park was launched back on 24th March. Shawn recalled how successful the event was and how he has since had positive feedback.

"Very successful. We had approximately 200 people from all over the country come down and the newspaper and different radio stations and magazines came down. Everyone was very impressed with how it all went and it all went smoothly.

"We had a demonstration by some professional riders and then it was a free for all basically and everyone got to ride the park. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good day out of it.

"I’ve had a lot of people come down from London and surrounding areas and they’ve been to this park and they’ve said it’s really good. We’ve had loads of positive feedback from it," explained Shawn.

Skatepark pictures »

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