They may not have a home yet but rapidly growing club Portlaoise Skaters are trying to raise money for a roof, in hopes that soon they will have a permanent site in the town to practice their skating skills within a year.
Over Saturday and Sunday of the June Bank Holiday weekend, top professional skaters will be wowing the crowds with flips and grinds in the Civic Plaza beside Laois County Council’s offices.
Local bands will be performing live during the demonstrations, which kick off at midday each day.
Portlaoise Skaters has more than 50 skateboarders, inline skaters and BMXers, both boys and girls.
PRO Craig O’Hara, 23 is an inline skater for the past ten years and explains why they need their own park.
“It is growing in popularity. Families are looking to bring their kids along to our practice sessions at the Plaza but there can be glass on the ground there, it isn’t safe. The council are working with us on various locations. We are hoping we can relocate back to our Fitzmaurice Place,” he said.
He says there are many benefits to the hobby.
“It’s good for self confidence, for mental and physical health, it’s keeping young people off the streets and is a good social outlet for them. A skate park would benefit the whole area,” he said.
The fundraiser is in conjunction with Portlaoise Youth Café, and the Voices Across Culture festival on the same weekend .
“We will have a big raffle with spot prizes up to the value of €400, it’s an event the whole family can enjoy,” said Craig.
See ‘Portlaoise needs a skatepark’ on Facebook.