Leo has been skateboarding for more than a decade. Throughout his time involved with skating, he frequented around the Calgary region looking for parks that suited his more laid-back style. He was living near South Health Campus when the Seton Skatepark opened – and quickly, it became his favourite place to skate.
“There’s something about the concrete here that rolls nicer and doesn’t land so hard,” Leo says. He explains that he visited the skatepark all winter, finding it almost never had snow. “I might be crazy, but the snow and ice melts off really fast and the water clears out quick too. I love being able to skate all year long.”
Leo isn’t the only local skater whose new favourite spot is at the newest south Calgary park. During the grand opening in the summer of 2022, dozens of skaters came out to take part in the celebration – skaters of all ages and genders.
A positive force for young people
Tammy is a mom of two daughters – and both skate. She herself skates too and is a part of girls skateboarding clubs in the city. She observes that residentially located parks (like the one in Seton) are typically more community focused. But the one in Seton seems to have a positive energy all its own.
“There’s a really high level of stoke here,” Tammy says. She points out how some of the more experienced skaters will take the time to help her daughters improve their own moves, further building the community of skaters and setting up the next generation for success. But, for Tammy, being able to skate with her girls and be an example is the best part of the sport.
“I get to show my kids how being a woman skateboarder is awesome,” Tammy says. “I love being a role model for my daughters.”
A safe space for girls to skate too
The number of girl skateboarders has been steadily increasing over the years. During the grand opening event at Seton, girls in a younger age range nearly outnumbered the boys. For Ronna, the mother of a young skateboarding daughter, not only is seeing the number of girl skateboarders encouraging, but so is the larger community’s response.
“It’s a lot more equitable now,” says Ronna. “Especially for this younger age range of seven to 10 years old. There’s definitely a lot of support coming from the larger skate community.”
A positive impact for Seton
With the skatepark finally complete and a commitment from the community to maintain the skatepark year-round (because why wouldn’t you want to skate in January?), Seton’s newest outdoor amenity is a lot more than a place to practice kickflips.
The impact of an amenity like Seton’s skatepark can’t be understated. Complemented by a community of positive minded skaters, the Seton skatepark is sure to help a lot of younger people not only improve their tricks on the board – but also improve their confidence in taking on new challenges knowing that there’s a community of like-minded people cheering them on and wanting to see them succeed.