Opening of the New Wheeled Sports Park

 

Calling all Witney Skaters, BMXers, Scooterists and Roller Bladers! The Leys Wheeled Sports Park is now open for business! We are thrilled to announce the official opening of our re-envisioned ramps, ledges and rails. It’s a dedicated space for all wheeled sports lovers, where you can enjoy trying out the revamped space and practicing your tricks and skills. The new facility was funded by a £57,975 grant from FCC Communities Foundation along with a £100,000 contribution from Witney Town Council.

With a focus on inclusivity, the Leys Wheeled Sports Park was designed to accommodate individuals of all ages, skill levels and abilities, providing a welcoming space for everyone to enjoy wheeled sports.

Young people at the Skate Park

The timing of the opening could not have been better. Just a couple of months away from the first ever Olympic Qualifier Series in May. Earlier this month, the six skateboard park skateboarders who will represent Great Britain were announced. The squad is made up of six men and six women, including self- taught Lilly Strachan (aged 16) from Thame. The youngest member of the team is 13 and the oldest 50 which demonstrates that this is a sport that everyone can enjoy, and this was borne out at the opening by the generational and gender spread of those keen to be among the first to showcase their skills over the new obstacles.  Age and gender are no barrier to success.

Youth flipping skateboard on a ramp

So, what are you waiting for?

Bring your wheels – be it roller skates, scooters, skateboards, or BMX, and enjoy the rush! Whether you’re a beginner trying to find your balance or a pro looking to perfect your tricks, we have something for everyone.

BMX Bike trick on a ramp

Mayor, Councillor Owen Collins, of Witney Town Council is delighted to see the new space open and commented,

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to reopen the wheeled sports park, and to see over a hundred young people come down to get stuck in immediately.

This project has been an ongoing ambition of the Town Council for a few years and it’s the product of so much hard work from so many people. In particular, though, I want to highlight the many, many young people that have provided feedback and input throughout the process – the success of this design owes a lot to them, and I hope it’s a reminder that not only is the Council here to serve all our community, but that when young people do get involved and engage, amazing stuff happens as a result.

I couldn’t be more delighted to see so many people enjoying the park in the well-timed sunshine of the first true afternoon of spring. This park belongs to them now and I hope they have many, many years of enjoying it ahead. (And yes, I have had a go and have the bruises to prove it!)”

The Leys Wheeled Sports Park opened at 4:30pm on Friday 22nd March with a brief ribbon cutting ceremony with local enthusiasts, members of the public and councillors, including the town’s Mayor and its Leader, all getting their first experience of the new design.
BBC Radio Oxford and Witney Radio came along to gauge the reactions and impressions of those who were keen to get their very first taste of the new wheeled sports area and members of Witney’s new Youth Outreach scheme, The Station, were also present.

Collectable stickers featuring the cool re-imagining of the lamb from the Witney Town Council logo were given out to the park users who attended the opening, a unique addition to a collection, and a fun way to decorate wheels and boards.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ruth Smith added,

This project benefited from community input into the design and sustainably kept existing concrete and features. It will bring pleasure and skill to many and will bring people into Witney. It was a joyous opening, with skateboards, scooters and BMXs ridden by the very young to the very…experienced.”

Youth jumping with scooter

Penny Horne, FCC Communities Foundation grant manager, says:

It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to the lives of so many people across Witney. FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

The opening has sparked excitement and positive reactions within the community. Its design ensures a fun and challenging experience making it a valuable asset to the local community. We can’t wait to see you there!

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