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Boy, 15 vows to fight on for skate park; 'WE WON'T GIVE UP' SAY GURMUKH AND HIS MATES AS 'FAD' WINS OLYMPIC STATUS.

Byline: BARBARA GOULDEN

WITH skateboarding on the verge of becoming a "guest sport" at future Olympic Games, 15-year-old Gurmukh Ahira and his mates are determined to keep up the pressure on Coventry City Council to provide a new place for them to practise.

Woodlands School pupil Gurmukh, of Allesley Park, says the popular ramp in the city's War Memorial Park is all the proof councillors need that skateboarding is not just a passing fad.

He would love to see the old paddling pool in Allesley Park converted into a ramp - even if it was only for younger skateboarders like 10-year-old Liam Keane, who in April took a 150-strong petition to the Council House calling for better facilities.

Other skate park requests have been made by youngsters in Foleshill, Longford and Stoke Aldermoor.

Parks manager Geoff Hall is on record as saying there is little money in the pot for more ramps right now.

And while the government-backed Sport England may provide some funding in some areas, it is unlikely to do so for Allesley Park - which comes in the Whoberley catchment area - and would not be viewed as a priority part of the city.

But Mr Hall has agreed to hold further meetings with Gurmukh and his friends, who have even applied for a grant from the city's Common Purpose group to research skate park ramps in other parts of the country.

Gurmukh said: "We are not giving up. Skateboarding is here to stay but the War Memorial Park is a long way for us to go after school."

CAPTION(S):

PLANNING THEIR NEXT MOVE: Gurmukh Ahira (foreground) and other young enthusiasts who are campaigning for new skateboarding facilities in Allesley Park. Picture: ROY KILCULLEN
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 3, 2002
Words:285
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