HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Gift Skateboarding, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing safe and accessible community spaces and programs, centered around skateboarding.
Executive Director, Matt Glick says within just a few short weeks, Henderson will have a new free indoor skate park, built by Gift Skateboarding in the Audubon Village shopping center next to Showplace Cinemas.
“Right now we have a 24 foot wide mini-ramp that’s 3 feet tall – has a bowl on one end. That is the centerpiece of the park at the moment. And on this wall, we have a 40-foot-wide section of ramps that we are just about finished constructing and then we have another space that will be like a dedicated street section.”
He says growing up, there weren’t enough spaces or resources to keep kids skateboarding and would often get run off by the police for skating on public property.
The current skatepark in Henderson, requires skaters to be at a certain skill-level which often repels beginners from using the park. Glick says the harder part is getting kids to stick with skateboarding because of the community.
“Skateboarding kinda has a history of not being the most inclusive thing in the world, but we are definitely trying very hard to combat that and make everyone feel welcome.”
Glick says the new park will be centered around beginners and teaching and nurturing them on the do’s and don’ts of skateboarding with free lessons. A place to help erase the stigma and shift the focus over time towards having fun. “You don’t need to be great at skateboarding to have fun.”
Reports say the skatepark has gained quite an interest in the community to the point where the community has had a big part in helping to build the skate park.
According to the Executive Director, the skatepark has gotten a lot of attention and a bit of a following on social media which has helped to gather monetary donations for supplies. He says people have been more than generous, from donating supplies and gear to donating their time and helping build the ramps and obstacles.
“if you’ve ever not picked up a skateboard because you’ve felt too this or that or not this or that enough. Please… throw that mentality away if it’s something you wanna do, just come try it out.”
Reports say even national businesses along with local businesses, have been skating in to join the action, paying a small amount to have their banners hung up in the skatepark for a few years.
The skatepark will allow rollerblading, roller-skating and scooters along with skateboarding but says at this time they will not be allowing BMX bikes to join in just yet but they would love to address it down the road.
“We’re just trying to create some positive change in the area. Just trying to give something for kids to do that’s productive, you know a place they can feel at home no matter who they are.”
Gift Skateboarding will be having their soft opening on November 25 and then will be open on Sundays to Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.