Local schoolchildren who aren’t interested in the Borders most popular sport, rugby, are making a plea for different sporting facilities.
A group of skate boarders, cyclists, and roller bladders have come forward at a meeting of Melrose and District Community Council and made a case for a new skate park. The currently underused Priors Walk Park has been suggested as a location for the park.
The group claimed that the only place they could currently practice is Melrose Square (where they run the risk of knocking over pedestrians) or Galashiels Public Park which is 8 miles away.
They addressed community councillors at the meeting at the Ormiston Institute in Melrose and 16-year-old Niall McLeish said: “We came to ask about a skateboard park in Melrose because there are a lot of young people in Melrose who don’t have anything to do.
“We know there are lots of nice sports fields in the town but not everyone plays football or rugby. A lot of people enjoy roller blading, biking and skateboarding in Melrose.”
“There’s nowhere for us to practice and we get moaned at if we play with our bikes in the street.”
The skate park idea was welcomed by Melrose’s community councillors but they told the teenagers that the project would need a lot of funding before anything could happen.
Val Miller, community council secretary said: “It’s true these youngsters need somewhere to go, it’s not their fault there is nowhere for them to practice, but it won’t just happen by magic.
“There were similar plans for a skate park seven or eight years ago which didn’t come to anything so it’s up to the youngsters and their parents to take it forward. The children’s playground at Gibson Park took three years.”
The teenagers have said that they would be willing to fundraise for the project and they have received support from the local police.
Melrose Police PC John Dawson said: “From a police point of view I would support what you propose. I think it’s a great idea. The only problem would be funding.”
Melrose and Leaderdale representative on the Scottish Borders Council, Councillor Parker, said: “It’s definitely possible. We have built one in Peebles and Hawick recently so we could get costs in quite quickly and come up with some designs. If we can keep the costs manageable then something can be done.”