Skateboarding on Emcon lot a Miner Threat

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
September 8th, 2010

For at least two days this coming weekend, the much anticipated, much talked about, much debated Rossland Skatepark will have a home in the Emcon lot. No, the location of the permanent park has not been decided yet, but local residents will get a brief, scaled down look at skateboarding on the Emcon this weekend as part of the Miner Threat event.

As part of the ongoing Kootenay Skateboard Series put on by bcskateboarding.org and organized by Ty Smith of Castlegar, the Miner Threat will be Rossland’s stop on the nine location tour. The series, which has already been through Kaslo, Nelson, Castlegar, Salmo and Elkford, is an ongoing competition with points awarded to participants at each event, with the overall winner to be crowned at the last event. As well individual events, prizes are awarded in three age categories: under 14, 15 and over, and an open division.   The RSA (with donations of time and supplies from Maglio’s, Kalesnikoff Lumber, Andrew Sheret and Seven Summits Contracting) have built a brand-spanking new mini half pipe for the event. The 16 foot wide pipe will stretch 40 feet from coping to coping and have 5 foot decks plus a couple of tombstones, bringing the drop in height to 6 feet. Although purpose-built for this event, organizers have hopes for the ramp that extend beyond this event.   “We’ve built it so that we can disassemble it, but we’re looking for a home for the winter,” noted Robin Strachan. “We’d love to keep it set up somewhere and keep people skating all winter and keep the stoke going. We’ve built it so we can break it down into sections and store it if we need to or move it around from event to event but if you know anywhere that can host it for the winter that would be sweet.”   Registration for the contest closes on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM. Due to insurance requirements, all participants must have a helmet and sign a waiver or have a parent sign if they are under 18.   From there, the competition heats up from noon through 6:00 PM Saturday afternoon. Riders from around the Kootenays as well as local riders will be competing a jam session format for the afternoon, with judges picking out best trick, best bail and best overall skater as well as awarding points in the series long competition.   Fun is the name of the game. A couple of DJs, refreshments, and a BBQ will be on hand to boost the energy of participants and add one more spectator-friendly event to the Golden City Days Kids’ Zone on the Emcon lot.   “We’re really pushing this competition to raise awareness of a skatepark in Rossland, raise donations and more or less just talk to people in town about a skatepark in the city and help show people that it’s a great fun sport that should have a place for Rossland kids to take part,” added Strachan.   While civic politics will be on the backburner and the event all about fun, it never hurts to have a good showing of a sport you’re hoping to find a permanent home for in the city noted Aaron Cosbey   “ I’m kind of hoping that it comes across as a fun thing with responsible kids and maybe some of the people that aren’t as favorable to the idea of a skate park might see it and think that it looks like good clean fun.”   Support for a Rossland Skatepark has been growing as the group continues its planning and fundraising for the project. The mini quarter pipe donation boxes around town have been steadily filling up. At last count they had brought in over $600 in loose change. The upcoming roller derby event will also be donating its proceeds to the skatepark cause and RSA t-shirts and stickers are now on sale and will be on sale at the event.   The next steps in turning the funding and drive behind the effort into a physical park is coming up in a few weeks time. On October 4th the RSA will be holding a public forum to discuss and debate the various potential locations for the park.   “While the city gave permission for the northwest corner of Emcon so we could start our fundraising, we’re thinking it might be somewhere else going by the input we got from some neighbors. The two most likely options are either the south east corner of Emcon or below the Centennial soccer field but we want to get a lot of public input before that decision is made. We want this to be a community project and something that brings people together so getting as much input from as many people as we can is critical in making that happen.”   In the meantime it’s all about fun on four wheels and a set of trucks as the level of gnar in the Emcon lot is about to take a major step up if only for a few days.

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