Skate dream a step closer
PHUKET: Eleven-year-old skater Waroon Deesombat’s dream of a skate park in Phuket may come true after a non profit group put their hand up to support the idea, and is now looking for sponsors to help fund the project.
Saturday 20 August 2011, 02:53AM
Last month 11-year-old Phuket student and passionate skater Waroon Deesombat was featured in The Phuket News appealling for a skate park to entertain youth and keep them out of trouble.
His pleas to several local authorities fell on deaf ears, but his story prompted Sharon Biddell from the Self Help and Empowerment charity (SHE) to want to help. SHE is a non-profit group which helps women and children at risk in Phuket and Thailand, including many involved in the sex trade.
“When we read Waroon’s story, my 20-year-old son said he also believed Phuket was in desperate need of a skate park,” Mrs Biddell said.
Her husband and organisation co-founder Mark agreed, and said the project would be great to ensure children had people around who cared for them, and for parents to know where their children were. It may also help prevent children turning to drugs.
“Phuket is a beautiful tourist attraction that is being developed quickly and is internationally known as a place of beauty and relaxation. The increase in industry and wealth coming in to the area brings with it an increase in crime, drugs, and illegal activity,’’ he said.
The couple said they were now exploring options of a site for the proposed skate park (somewhere in the wider Phuket Town area) with the help of Waroon’s family.
All the group needed now was a cash injection from keen sponsors – around B600,000 to be exact.
“SHE has a plan and a vision to reach out and help the community create this haven for skaters. We are looking for partners who share this vision and desire with us to give the youth a place of safety and, in the long run, an alternative to taking to the streets to make friends and skate.
“We would be able to staff the skate park with volunteers that care about the community and the well-being of the skaters. The skate park would be open in the evenings and give the youth a place to come after school activities have finished for the day,” Mrs Biddell said.
Mrs Biddell said allowing the island’s youth to step up and have their voices heard would give them a sense of purpose.
“Consider this an investment into the future of our community, of our youth, and of Thailand,” she said.
“If we believe our future is in the generation that we are raising we need to stand up and invest in them by acknowledging their ideas and dreams.
“Waroon will soon be the new generation of leaders in Thailand. He is standing up and is making a suggestion by requesting that a skate park be constructed in the area. He sees the poor decisions that people are making in society and he has a desire to create a safe environment where they are able to work towards a skill.
“If we can create a community for the youth and keep them busy then they will not turn to drugs, alcohol or the streets. A skate park would create a community for the youth, somewhere to make friends that are like minded and dedicated to the sport.’’
Anyone who is interested in supporting the project is encouraged to contact SHE on 087 265 3280 or email email@example.com.