Skate park turns 10

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on December 9, 2017

THE Albany Skate and BMX Park has been a home away from home for local kids for a decade, and the milestone was celebrated in style on Sunday.

Tweens and teens were joined by kids-at-heart for a day of family fun and live entertainment at the Sanford Road skate park, which included a bouncing castle, market stalls, a sausage sizzle and an appearance from Jamie the Clown.

The skateboard, scooter and BMX bike competitions enthralled spectators all day, with entrants ranging from eight years to 26 years old.

Albany skater Matthew Dye was among the crowd on Sunday as well as on the judging panel for the competitions, and said his home away from home was always the Albany Skate and BMX Park.

“It was my life as a kid; I was always there,” the 20-year-old said.

“I just wanted to spend all my spare time there.”

Dye has ridden the track since it opened in 2007, and, along with his now 19-year-old brother, still frequents the track.

“One of my main memories was when we used to do lessons with big skateboarders from Perth,” he said.

“It was always a good time.”

Event organiser and manager Simon Escott said the 10-year anniversary celebrations drew between 500 and 700 people to the skate park.

“It was a really good turnout and allowed people to have fun and let their hair down in a safe environment,” he said.

Escott, now 30 years old, remembers skating on the original Albany skate track, the famous Snake Run, just around the corner from Albany Senior High School.

“My dad was skating there in the 1970s, and I grew up on it,” he said.

“I wasn’t in Albany at the time, but I knew a lot of the people involved in the skate community who pushed for a bigger track.

“The next track was on North Road and it just wasn’t big enough, so in 2006 and 2007 there was a cry for a bigger skate park, so they opened the new one on Sanford Road.”

The Albany Skate and BMX Park is one of four Albany parks, including the Historic Hare Street Skate Track (the Snake Run), the Mill Park Skate Park and the Lake Weerlara Park.