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A SOCIAL media debate has erupted over the safety of learner scooter riders using Port Macquarie’s popular Town Beach skate park.
A Facebook post questioned whether it was appropriate for children to learn to ride their scooters and skateboards at the skate park alongside experienced board riders.
The post was a “thumbs down” to parents who permitted their children to practice at the skate park while “professionals” are “flying around doing tricks”.
The author suggested footpaths were the placed for inexperienced young riders.
Brandon Wilson, a local who has been skating since he was a child, said it comes down to parents educating their children, with a little help from the experienced skaters.
“It gets a little annoying but you can’t help it. The kids have a right to be here and learn to ride as well,” he said.
“That post was a bit rough. It’s not like there are signs saying kids can’t be on the skate park (and) the kids don’t know the etiquette or to stop and look, so we have to watch them all the time.”
Mr Wilson said he has had confrontations with angry parents.
“I have had run-ins with parents where I have asked them politely to watch their kids more closely, and they usually instigate an argument and tell me that we shouldn’t be here skating around children,” he said.
“A lot of parents don’t supervise their kids at all, which is really dangerous. They normally don’t pay attention even after a kid gets hurt.”
He said while rare, there are accidents with kids being hit by a flying board.
Skaters often concentrate on their feet before doing a trick, he said, and sometimes in that moment, a child can accidentally move into their space.
“A board can go shooting off quickly and then we (adult skaters) are the ones at fault,” he said.
“Perhaps another section with smaller ramps just for kids could be built. It goes both ways and we should all be working together to make sure it’s safe.
“The vibe down here is really friendly. It can be very frustrating but mostly we all help the kids and don’t want them to get hurt.”