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9 Aug 2008 | 2 Comments

If there was ever a doubt that Parkersburg was in desperate need of a skate facility, here is just another little piece of evidence. International magazine Rolling Stone traveled all the way down to a little middle of no where town, just a stones throw away from Parkersburg, to take some pictures and document the lives of several local skaters.

Marietta skate boarder, Evan Hendershot, scored a prime full page shot for the magazine as seen above skating the ramps at Skatopia in Ruland, Ohio. Evan has been working with the Skaters United group for more than five years now raising money for the long, long over due renovation of Marietta’s tennis court skate park. “If we actually had somewhere nice to skate, imagine the talent we could get here,” Evan said in today’s Parkersburg News. Imagine if Parkersburg had a skate park at all.

Many citizens have been in a frenzy lately over the attention Parkersburg has gotten for its 2nd place finish in ESPNs TitleTown competition which was the result of allot of funding and attention towards other slightly older sports such as football or basketball. Sports supported and encouraged by the city. Sports where you don’t have to look further than down the street to find a place to practice. But here we have skate boarding, a sport which receives no funding and very little respect, if any, from the community and all on its own makes its way into Rolling Stone Magazine.

With other sports, parents will teach their children how to play, buy them equipment, sign them up for little league and drive them there everyday. These sports are taught in gym classes at schools that have safe, quality facilities. But with skating kids sign themselves up, they teach themselves, they save up their allowances to buy their own equipment. Kids will skate miles or catch rides with older friends to head hours out of town just to find a place to skate. An accomplishment in other sports will result in cheers. An accomplishment in skating may result in insults, threats, tickets, fines, jail time, or simply being treated like a criminal. But despite all of this adversity skaters continue to pursue their dreams and every year more and more young people join in. This is the type of dedication and discipline we should support, not discourage.

$500,000 to finally build the much needed facility for skaters is really nothing compared to the millions being spent on other sports.