Community Skate Jam builds support for urban sports park under Glasgow motorway

Photos by Neil Davidson
Photos by Neil Davidson

A GLASGOW group is hoping to revitalise its campaign for a ground-breaking new urban sports park with a series of community events.

For nearly 10 years, Glasgow Urban Sports has been calling for a new skate park to be built in an empty space beneath the M74 Viaduct in the city’s Southside.

READ MORE : Plan for skatepark under city motorway renewed by urban sports group

Shona Marshall, one of the group’s directors, said: “Scotland suffers from a lot of rain and sometimes that can make skating unsafe.

“You need a dry space to do it.

“There’s a dead space just underneath the motorway that’s completely covered.

“Skating and wheels can be a wee bit noisy too, so why not stick it under the motorway where the noise is drowned out and it’s dry?

“It just seems to make sense.”

The New Gorbals Skate Jam event

It’s an exciting time for urban sports in Glasgow with many having discovered a new passion for outdoor activities in the wake of the pandemic.

Shona and the team at Glasgow Urban Sports are hoping that a new wave of interest will see more support than ever for the M74 skate park which would see the area transformed into a vibrant and inclusive community hub.

She said: “The boom that skating experienced during lockdown has given the project a real resurgence of life.

“There’s also next year’s UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow which will bring a lot of interest.

“We really want somewhere that will help keep people healthy and active and won’t cost them a fortune.

“Once you’ve bought your bike or skateboard all you need is the space to do it.

“The area under the motorway is so big that if we got the go-ahead, it would be one of the biggest in Europe.”

READ MORE: The 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds set for stunning road races through Scotland's landmarks

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A Skate Jam event held yesterday in the New Gorbals Piazza was the first of what’s hoped to be a number of public consultation events to draw attention to the cause.

People of all ages were invited to try their hand at roller skating, BMX biking and skateboarding with a team of skilled instructors from The Loading Bay, 5th Blocker Skates and Rollerstop.
The wet weather couldn’t dampen the youngsters’ spirits but did serve as a reminder as to why a safe, dry skating space would see urban sports thrive in a Scottish climate.

Shona said: “In order to get funding for the project, the community has to want it.

“With the event in New Gorbals, we wanted to reach out to families that were interested and give kids something to do. Really we just want to keep them out of trouble, keep them healthy and keep them active.”

For more information on the GUSM74 project visit glasgowurbansports.co.uk