It might be news to those outside of South Australia’s capital city, but in a move that is heartbreaking to the local skate community, Adelaide’s only city skate park has been destroyed. For years, the park has been a meeting place for the city’s skaters hailing from north and south, building a community of young people with a passion for the sport and its subculture. But under a new council initiative it’s been bulldozed for a new biomedical precinct – leaving the city’s skaters lost to roam the streets. As the only skating park in the South Australian capital, skaters will now have nowhere to perfect their craft in a haven of ramps, ledges and stairs. What will happen to the local skating culture, and where will skaters now go to express themselves?
In the short film More Than Concrete, director Jared Nicholson documents the history of the skate park and shows why it’s important as a cultural hub for young people. The demolition of the park represents a serious threat to the sport, and that “They don’t really care about the youth outside of, you know, ‘regular’ sports, I suppose,” as BMX bike shop owner Matt Hodgson laments.
We’re pretty familiar with the sentiment, as Melbourne’s renowned Lincoln Park torn apart earlier this year by the council, and while it wasn’t an ‘official’ skate park, there is no doubting its importance in our own skate circles. In any case, it looks like skating communities around Australia are under threat and authorities need to recognise that skate parks are more than just concrete – they’re an important cultural hub for youth.
You can check out Nicholson’s film above.
- Words: Maki Morita