By Verena Power
It’s funny how the tiniest of things cause the biggest problems, from viruses to sand.
When Australian councils closed skate parks in order to restrict the spread of COVID-19, some decided sand was the best way to keep people out.
Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative director Donny Fraser said the skate park surface has a particular polish which sand can destroy, and it also gets into joins and weakens the structure.
“The real worry is how it’s removed, shovels can cause cracks in the concrete which are expensive to fix,” he said.
Alexandra Headland’s Colleen Denton said it was not fair to close skate parks when beaches were still open.
“There’s always groups of kids hanging out on the beach,” she said.
“And they’re definitely not social distancing.”
Mr Fraser said it was not so much the closure of the skate parks that was upsetting, it was the lack of consultation with the community.
“The Emerald community had just spent three years fundraising to get their skate park repaired in September,” he said.
“Now the [Central Highlands Regional] Council has dumped sand in it.
“It’s really disappointing.”
Some skate parks remained open and are success stories.
Mr Fraser said in Onkaparinga, South Australia, skaters were observing social distancing rules.
“So when it isn’t covered in sand and people are treated with the respect to use it correctly, they have been doing so,” he said.