Friday, July 19, 2024
Highlights 2News

Bringing skateboarding to the Pontiac

Madelaine Methot
Waltham August 13, 2023
Waltham has brand new skateboarding ramps ready for public use this summer at Paul Ryan Park inside the outdoor skating rink area.
The ramps were a result of a project application through the MRC’s Regions and Rurality fund (FRR), Waltham mayor Odette Godin told THE EQUITY.
“We wanted to make something fun for the kids to do, plus if they’re busy learning to skateboard they are staying out of trouble.”
In addition, the Waltham Recreation Association has hired two summer students, Georjah Bastien and Grace Duff, as park attendants for the months of July and August.
They have prepared a schedule of free activities to do with children who visit Paul Ryan Park including crafts, sports and movie nights. Bastien and Duff will be at the park building to hand out equipment such as skateboards, basketballs, volleyballs and more in an effort to get Waltham kids outside this summer, the R.A told THE EQUITY.
The Waltham municipal council sought the expertise of Chapeau local Alex Boivin in planning for this project, Godin explained.
Boivin grew up near Drummondville, has been skateboarding for over 10 years and has a passion for sharing and teaching the sport to others. When Boivin moved to the Pontiac a few years ago, he realized there was not much of a skateboarding community here, but a lot of potential for skateboarding infrastructure, so he took it upon himself to start a community from scratch.
Skateboarding was not officially recognized as a sport in Quebec until this year. In the 2021 Olympics, Canada put forward a skateboarding team with no Quebec members.
Without an official provincial federation for the sport, Boivin was unable to get certification to instruct skateboarding in the Pontiac which was his dream.
So, this year Boivin started a federation for the sport, Skateboard Quebec. Also earlier this year, Boivin did a presentation at a Pontiac MRC Council meeting where he promoted the potential for a skateboarding community in the Pontiac and received encouraging feedback.
The hope is that the new skateboard ramps at Paul Ryan Park in Waltham will be the first step towards building an interest in skateboarding and creating an opportunity for Pontiac locals to get involved. This project also opens a new realm of possibilities for sports infrastructure in the Pontiac, Boivin said.
The funds from the FRR grant also went to improvements around the park’s baseball diamond and will contribute to a roof over the outdoor rink to cover the skateboarding ramps in summer and the hockey rink in the winter.

Alex Boivin trying out the new skate ramps at Paul Ryan Park in Waltham.


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