Olympic BMX medallist Declan Brooks among special guests at opening of Wecock Farm’s new skate and play park

A OLYMPIC celebrity helped mark the opening of a new play space for children and skaters in Wecock Farm.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Monday, 25th October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 2:16 pm

Families and friends came to enjoy the Phoenix skate and play park in Hobby Close, Waterlooville as it was officially opened on Saturday.

Portsmouth-born Olympic BMX medallist Declan Brooks attended the opening to show off his skills on the new skate facilities and to talk to crowds of fans.

Delighted youngsters asked for autographs and had their picture taken with the local champion.

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Olympic Bronze Medalist Declan Brooks opening the park.Picture: Sam Stephenson

The new skate and play park is the work of Wecock Farm Big Local, a resident-led programme funded by the Big Lottery.

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Tracie Hoare, project co-ordinator, said that it was ‘brilliant’ to see such a ‘massive turnout’ at the opening.

She has worked on the project for four years and said it feels ‘amazing’ to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition.

Olympic Bronze Medalist Declan Brooks opening the park. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Tracie added: ‘We’re really proud of how it’s turned out.

‘We put in £480,000 and Portsmouth City Council put in £100,000, so it came to half a million pounds in the end.

‘There was nowhere for the kids to go, and this gives them somewhere local.

‘I feel really proud to be a part of it.’

The grand opening of a new skate park in Hobby Close, Waterlooville. Pictured is Olympic Bronze Medalist Declan Brooks opening the park. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Several local councillors were in attendance, along with many team members from Wecock Farm Big Local who ran activity stalls and co-ordinated the launch event.

Portsmouth City councillor Darren Sanders, who attended the opening, said: ‘It's absolutely fantastic.

‘Having good facilities for all ages is vital.

‘I'm delighted that the council has put in money to help make this more of a community than it is now. This is a major improvement.

‘Families want things for kids to do. It's great to see these sorts of spaces being used. It's what people want. It's great to see so many community groups here as well.’

Crafting activities, food and drink, face painting, and bulb planting also took place at the park.

Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond, also at the ribbon cutting ceremony, said: ‘The community came together and raised the money.

‘It’s fantastic - look at the variety of equipment.

‘You can see people enjoying themselves.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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