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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 8585


Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (13:46): On 6 August, I was delighted to join my friend Chris Bourke MLA in opening the revamped Belconnen Skate Park, known as the Belco Bowl, a BMX and skate park that was partly funded by federal money under the stimulus program. It is located on the edge of Lake Ginninderra, which could remind skateboarders that their sport started when Californian surfers looked out on flat waves and decided they had to invent another sport. The original Belco Bowl was opened in 1990, just 14 years after the invention of the ollie. I am told that this revamp makes the Belco Bowl the largest skate park in the Southern Hemisphere.

At its best, skateboarding is a sport that does not care about your age, race, sex or religion—just what tricks you can do. The new facility combines some seriously steep walls with areas for first-timers, and I hope that more experienced skaters will use the chance to teach newbies some new tricks. Most Canberrans may not be up to doing kickflips, wheelies and pivots, but I know my two young sons watched with big eyes as they saw the skateboarders and BMX riders using the new facility.

I would like to use this chance to acknowledge the work of the ACT and federal governments, the skating community, particularly Luke Brown, the designers, particularly Julia Coddington, and the builders, who have made the revamped Belco Bowl a reality.