Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner backs calls for better skateboarding facilities
He is more accustomed to ramping up pressure on the government, but that did not stop Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner trying his hand – or rather feet – at skateboarding.
The Labour politician met with the Cam Skate group last Friday (June 18) at Parkside Skatepark. He discussed the resurgence in skateboarding during the pandemic with the group’s secretary, James Moulang, and explored how the city could advance the development of top-class facilities.
Then, still in his suit and tie, he took to a board himself. “With more people skateboarding than ever, driven by the skyrocketing of female participation – and with the sport making its Olympic Games debut next month – now seems the opportune moment for the city to continue to listen to skateboarders and enhance and support the future of grassroots skateboarding in Cambridge,” said Mr Zeichner.
“The skills learned from the sport and the physical health benefits, coupled with better socialising from a shared interest and the stress-reducing and confidence-inducing benefits, makes this a no brainer.”
James said: “What we really want to see is accommodation for skateboarding in winter. There’s nowhere to go at all if you’re a skateboarder and it’s raining and it’s dark – apart from car parks or places that can be inconvenient for other people.
“So if we had an indoor skate park, or we had lights at our existing skate parks, that would make a huge difference, because right now skateboarding basically stops for half the year.”
He added: “Cam Skate was formed in response to the growing popularity of skateboarding in Cambridge, and the lack of adequate facilities to support it. We have created DIY skate parks, and worked with Cambridge City Council to secure repairs at Jesus Green skatepark.
"We have also given design feedback on upcoming parks, connected local skaters with consultations and are pushing for a new skatepark at Donkey Common, and for winter-appropriate places to skate."
While there has been progress on facilities, it is argued that Cambridge lags behind other cities in terms of the quality and quantity of places available for skateboarders.
For more on Cam Skate, visit cam-skate.co.uk.