Canadian pro skateboarder and olympian Annie Guglia, along with pro skateboarder Adam Hopkins and 11-year-old skateboard phenom Fay Defazio Ebert, tested out Belleville’s newly-renovated Kiwanis Skateboard Park on Wednesday.
Defazio Ebert, a Canada Skateboard National team member, says there’s nothing better than being at a skateboard park.
“I like to like fly, go big, go fast. I don’t know it’s just the feeling,” Ebert says.
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Belleville city councillor Garnet Thompson says plans to refurbish the park started with an email and phone call he got last March from the candy company, Mentos.
Thompson says eventually the skateboard park was settled on as a project worthy of partnership.
“And then it led to, say, let’s add a basketball hoop, let’s add two basketball hoops,” says Thompson.
Mentos spent between $50,000 and $70,000 delivering the park with a unique twist, with a centrepiece called the ‘basketbowl’.
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Another national member for Team Canada was in attendance, Adam Hopkins. He says this new addition is the first he’s ever seen.
“I’ve seen basketball courts where they’ll incorporate ledges, benches — like small sort of skateable features like multi-use spaces where they share the court. I’ve never seen it in a bowl like this. It’s definitely something new.”
Annie Guglia is an Olympic skateboarder. She says regular users practicing on the bowl will be full of fun.
“It’s definitely unique and it’s a fun thing to practice. Skateboarding is for fun, so basketball is for fun, too.”
Locals who use the park also enjoyed seeing a new feature.
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“Most skaters probably play basketball too so it’s a cool little thin to combine them and it’s nice to just get more people out to the park” says Matt Munro, a recreational skateboarder.
Eddy Clare says, “to see it at the skate park, it’s a bit different but it’s really cool at the same time. It’s bringing a variety of people out which is great and that’s what it’s about.
“Get some exercise — that’s why we’re here.”
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