Interview with the chairman of Weymouth Skatepark – The Front

We spoke with Kieren Hasler, chairman of The Front Skatepark Association…
Q: What’s your role at The Front?

I am the chairman of the Skatepark Association, on a month to month basis I deal mainly with the finances, ensuring the banking arrangements are in place and that the wages are paid etc. I oversee the policies and procedures of the park to ensure that they are compliant with any changes in national statutory regulations.

Q: Can you explain the situation with The Front skatepark?

The skatepark was a community project that was put together with Sport England / Lottery funding, there were a group of very keen skateboarders, skaters and BMX riders that had no safe facilities to use and thus the Council donated some land to build the park and provide a safe environment for the population of Weymouth.

Q: What did the skatepark used to be like, before it was recently revamped and rebranded?

Well, for one thing the staff morale was low due to the lack of income and users of the park.

Q: So in effect, this is basically a sporting facility that is managed by Weymouth College?

Well, the skatepark is not managed by the College, it is an independent charity that functions totally independently from the College. The College became involved when it looked like the park may need to close due to financial difficulties, the College helped out in providing an interest free loan to help the committee invest in facilities to try and turn around the fortunes of the park. I became Chairman at that time to help ensure that the investment was used effectively.
Q: It’s clear that the rebranding of the skatepark has had a positive affect on the venue – what has the turnaround been like?

The Skate Park is much more lively and has the feeling that it is loved and important for the community again, the re-branding has been part of this turnaround in giving the park a real sense of identity and engaging with the core users.