New ‘resi box’ training equipment at Southsea Skatepark to inspire next generation of Olympic champions as trustee thanks council

PORTSMOUTH’S skateboarding and BMXing community is set to benefit from a new piece of equipment thanks to a city council donation.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 6:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th September 2021, 6:24 pm

Portsmouth City Council agreed to fully fund a new training ‘resi box’ after being approached by a Southsea Skatepark trustee.

The appeal was made following the success of Portchester’s 25-year-old Olympic champion Declan Brooks, who won a bronze medal in freestyle BMX.

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Shaun Gornall, 26, Local BMX Pro and FISE World Series participant performing tricks from the soon to be replaced ramp at Southsea Skatepark. Picture: Alex Shute

Trustee Martin Northern said: ‘We want to celebrate Declan's achievements at Southsea Skatepark as well as inspire the next generation.

‘Southsea Skatepark has a long history of British and World Champions in various wheeled sports and we want to carry that on to help the next generation of users achieve Olympic success.’

A resi box is a jump box with a layer of foam and resin on the landing ramp.

It serves as a training ramp, and will help the younger riders progress at a much faster rate.

Park Manager Effraim Catlow, 47, alongside Southsea Skatepark Trustee Martin Northern, 41, following news of the donation from Protsmouth City Council. Picture: Alex Shute

Martin, who says he is a ‘rollerblader at heart’, said: ‘This is great for younger guys, it will really make a difference and build some more champions.

‘We’ve got some kids that are showing great promise already - this means they can keep up with other places that do have these facilities.

‘It gives the south coast the facility that it needs to help itself.’

Shaun Gornall, 26, Local BMX Pro and FISE World Series participant performing tricks from the soon to be replaced ramp at Southsea Skatepark. Picture: Alex Shute

Cllr Ben Dowling, the council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development, said: ‘I'm extremely pleased that we've been able to allocate £7,500 for the new resi box.

‘The skatepark's direct association with the highly successful GB Olympics team, and Declan Brooks in particular, will be a huge boost to its efforts to help young people to be active, take part in sports and make the most of their talents.

‘We're very happy to help the skatepark develop their facilities in this way.’

Martin wrote to Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, asking for help funding this new training ramp to celebrate Declan's achievement and help the next generations of wheeled sport users in the city.

The trustee added: ‘I’d like to thank Gerald Vernon-Jackson as it was him I emailed and he helped it along. It was nice of him to take the time to even consider it.’

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