Skaters' cash

PUBLISHED: 11:03 04 January 2008 | UPDATED: 09:34 15 June 2010

A SKATEBOARD and BMX park for youngsters in Ottery St Mary is one step nearer to becoming a reality, thanks to a £1,000 donation from The Co-operative Group.

A SKATEBOARD and BMX park for youngsters in Ottery St Mary is one step nearer to becoming a reality, thanks to a £1,000 donation from The Co-operative Group.The award goes to the Ottery and District Skate and BMX Group, which is made up of older people in the town who are keen to help its younger residents secure their own skateboarding site.Group secretary Elli Pang said: "The project has gained much support from the whole community, including the school, the police and Devon County Council."Now, thanks to this generous Co-operative donation, we are one step closer to making this dream a reality for the young people of Ottery St Mary."The town has long been in need of such a park. In 2004 skateboarders were said to be endangering themselves by being forced to skate in out-of-town areas after a police ban from the centre.At that time the boarders were warned to take their sport out of town, or risk having their boards seized, after a series of complaints from residents who were angry that teenagers were rubbing wax over church steps to allow them to slide on their skateboards.They feared it increased the risk of falls to elderly parishioners.This week's grant comes from the Co-operative's community fund, which is part of the group's membership share of profits scheme that allows Co-operative members to donate all or part of their twice-yearly payouts to worthy causes.The fund offers grants of between £100 and £5,000 and about £100,000 is available annually to support charities and community groups in the region.The group's regional secretary, Andrew North, said: "The community fund can make a real and lasting contribution to local communities and we are delighted to support Ottery and District Skate and BMX Group."Many community groups share our co-operative values and could benefit from an award, and we would certainly like to hear from them.

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