September 17, 2009
The McIntire Skate Park in Charlottesville has been a hot spot for years, but skateboarders in surrounding counties have had to hit the road before they can hit the ramps. That's changed for skaters in Nelson County.
For years people in Nelson County have been tossing around the idea of building a skate park of their own. This week's hero, Tim Gorman, took it upon himself to get the wheels rolling.
In the rural county, there are skateboarders by the plenty, but places to skate safely, however, are limited.
"We'd go to churches; we'd get kicked out of any place that had little tiny bits of concrete," says Colin Bruguiere, an avid skateboarder.
"They don't have a lot of sidewalks. They don't have large parking lots; they don't have plazas, or places where they can skate safety. You have blacktop, two-lane roads, and you don't want to be out on those skateboarding," says Jason Oliver, a skateboarder.
On occasion, Gorman would bring his son Sam into Charlottesville to get some skate time in, but the travel wore on them both.
"You'd get there, and there'd be a crowd of kids, or it was hotter than when you left the house, and no one wanted to do it," says Gorman.
"It got ridiculous because of gas prices and stuff, and after a billion years of everybody just saying 'we need to get a skate park around here,' my dad decided to take action," says Sam, Tim Gorman's son.
It took about a year, but after much community collaboration, Gorman got the first part of the park built, one board at a time.
"Having the opportunity to work with him was a lot of fun. It was great comradery together, because we're all doing it for a common interest, for the community and by the community," says Gorman.
"I didn't do it by myself at all. I was fortunate enough that I could do this project and get it done, and I live and work in a community where people are supportive of this. I'm pretty lucky," Gorman adds.
Some avid skateboarders stay at the park for four to five hours per day. Though the skate park has only been open a week or two, people of all ages are coming out.
In addition to the skate park, which is still in the beginning stages, Gorman created a non-profit called Skate Nelson.
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