EDITORIAL: Let them extend their hours of fun

THE lighting issue at the state-of-the-art skate park in Port Macquarie has hit a brick wall.

Despite petitions and public support to lengthen the user time with lighting at this wonderful facility – and some considerable offers of goodwill to help with the financial burdens of setting up the lights – the issue remains at an impasse.

If you’ve ever sat and watched the youths (and a fair few young-at-heart adults) partake in a day’s activities, it is like watching a PCYC or local sporting club. Everybody is trying their hand at emulating the stars of the day, there’s a careful and respectable approach to taking turns and creating space for all levels of enthusiasts.

You’ll also notice one of the guns pat an awestruck youngster on the back and offer a word of advice. And there’ll be the odd issue.

When we were young, we were climbing up trees or jumping off bridges higher than a two or three-storey house. We were riding in the back of cars wihout seatbelts or on the back of old farm ute before the law and commonsense got the upper hand.

The point being, society has cotton-wooled our youth in so many areas (some largely for the better) that few outlets remain for the youths to build enviornments where their own cultural rituals and routines teach each other the lessons of life. 

Lights will bring some degree of social restlessness to the skate park, but it will also maximise the opportunity for youths to enjoy a rare haven for them to grow and just be kids – or kids at heart. 

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