Barbados badly needs a skating park to assist in growing the sport of skate-boarding and to provide professional options for the island’s talented youth.
This is the call of professional American skate-boarder, Ron Chatman, who visited the island recently and rubbed shoulders with local skate-boarders.
A resident of Long Beach, California, Chatman spent ten days in Barbados and said he was impressed with the skills of Barbadian skaters but lamented that the absence of a dedicated venue was holding them back.
“There are some really talented guys here . . . and I think the sport is ready to take off. Once there is establishment of a skate park, that will make a big difference and we will be able to assist in developing the sport,” said Chatman.
Over the past five years, several calls have been made for the construction of such a facility in Barbados but it is yet to materialise.
During a tour of lands around the Garfield Sobers Complex in 2012, Minister of Youth and Sports, Stephen Lashley, said his Ministry was looking at locations for two projects which included the construction of a skate park and a BMX facility, an initiative by the Barbados Cycling Union.
Chatman, a veteran skater of 30 years, said once Barbados was able to establish the skate park, sponsors would become interested in the talented boarders and the industry could blossom with regular competitions and endorsements.
“I came to see it for myself and there is a vibrant skating scene. I know that there are great possibilities for Barbados and the Caribbean,” he said.
Chatman, who also describes himself as a frontline soldier for skateboarding, offered his opinions on the sport in Barbados during a visit to the Blu Motion skate-shop at Sheraton Mall in Christ Church.
The American professional said Blu Motion was also playing a critical support role in the development of the sport with its impressive supply of products which included leading brands of skate-boards, wheels and other supplies.