Saturday April 7, the first annual East Athens Spring Fling was held at Southeast Clarke Park. The event consisted of music, food, and dancing, but most important was the skate community’s chance to make a name for itself.
The Skatepark of Athens has been an addition to this community since 2005, nourishing a family for skaters young and old. After 13 years, skaters have decided that it’s time for phase two of SPOA’s development.
“Phase two of the skatepark is turning the back field behind the existing park into a street course. There will be stairs, rails, ledges, hubas, kickers, basically everything that you would find in the streets instead of these huge ramps we’ve got here,” said Carter Bass, who has been skating since he was 6.
“On the surface, the skate park is a place for people to ride skateboards and bikes, but underneath that it is a community and a family building facility,” said Weik.
SPOA manager Corwin Weik took spring fling as an opportunity to get phase two started. Weik has been coming to the skatepark since it opened in 2005.
“I’ve met my best friends through this place and have some of my strongest relationships with people just through the skate park. It’s really good for community, but individual support is also really fruitful. The park taught me how to fail and succeed, and how its okay to fail as long as you get back up and keep trying. The skate park facilitates self motivation,” said Weik.
Nuclear Tourism, Cosmo Jr, Juan de Fuca, Five-Eight, Linqua Franqa, and Elf Power provided the musical entertainment at Spring Fling. With local acts like these attracting fans to the event, over 400 people became more aware of SPOA’s expansion and fundraising needs.
SPOA’s expansion comes at a significant cost. Organizers are almost halfway to their $250,000 fundraising target. For Weik and fellow skaters, the high costs are well worth the work.
“Phase two of the skatepark of Athens is going to be environmentally sustainably built. We would like to have environmentally friendly materials, as well as planning. We aren’t going to knock out any trees or hurt any wildlife homes, we don’t want to take anything away. We only want to add to, while keeping what was already there,” says Weik.
Skaters are pushing for all the help they can get to get phase two in motion.
“We have a Gofundme, our Instagram, and our Facebook. We sell t-shirts to help raise money on our Etsy, Skate Shop of Athens, we sell coffee through different coffee socials. We need everyone’s support, whether just pennies or dollars, or just time,” said Weik.
“The skate park is a safe haven for all of us. We would get in trouble if we went out and tried to express ourselves without the skatepark,” said Devinchio Brooks, local skater.