Longboarders raised their voices and the City of Kamloops listened
Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor Ω
The City of Kamloops has approved the construction of a longboarding facility thanks to the input of a group of Kamloops longboarders.
The group attended a May 2012 open house discussing the future development of West Highlands Park (previously the Aberdeen Highlands golf course) and the City of Kamloops approved the construction of a longboarding facility on Sept. 24.
Mike Doll, Kamloops parks planning supervisor, said the city heard the group “loud and clear.”
Patrick Mutrie, a TRU alumnus, and Matt Gosse, a current TRU student, are both members of the Kamloops Longboarding Club. They organized the group that attended the open house and have been working with the city to plan the facility.
Mutrie said that the longboarding facility will be outdoors, and plans for it to have three run types: beginner, intermediate and expert. Though it will be designed for longboarders, it will be open to anyone.
The facility will be built to the south of Pacific Way Elementary according to Doll. There is currently no timeline for the project.
Gosse said it’s critical that the city gets input from longboarders because there are many factors unique to longboarding that need to be considered, such as path width and steepness.
As far as Mutrie and Gosse know, this will be a one-of-a-kind facility. They hope that it will serve as a model for other cities and an attraction for longboarding events in the future.
Second-year business student Ben Peacock said he’s amazed the City of Kamloops is spending public money on a longboard facility and that his experience in his hometown Langley was very different.
Mutrie called the city “a golden shining beacon on a pedestal” with regards to how it has treated longboarders.
Mutrie, Gosse and Peacock said they have never had a problem with the Kamloops authorities when longboarding. Mutrie added that the majority of Kamloops longboarders are good people who respect the rules.
“We know people will still ride on the streets,” Doll said, “But now [with the new facility] they will have an alternative.”
Mutrie, Gosse and close friends formed the Kamloops Longboarding Club in 2008 and it has steadily grown, with 343 Facebook members as of Sept. 27. They meet once or twice a week to ride around and welcome beginners and kids, who they help learn the basics.
TRU students recently formed a smaller division of the club on campus called the TRUSU Longboarding Club.
Click here for more photos of the group’s Sept. 26 meeting on Boundary Rd.