The positive impact skateboarding can have on the community is no secret. With skateboarding itself encouraging growth, self-esteem, confidence and friendship, building your own park has a special way of bringing people together – sharing skills and creating something to be a part of. Skatepal, who believe that skateboarding is inclusive, instantly dissolving barriers between class, race, age and gender, and Skateistan,whose slogan, ‘skateboarding is for everyone’ rings true for most skaters you will meet. They are two of many organisations that exist to bring the benefits of skateboarding to developing communities across the world.
Closer to home, our own ‘Leith DIY’ has been making an impact. Since moving down to study and getting involved with skating in 2012, Edinburgh skate scene has always had a welcoming, inclusive, do-it-yourself vibe so it’s no surprise that the momentum of DIY projects has never faltered. From Spotless (RIP) to Plastic Beach, there is a dedicated pull toward making something on our own.
There is no difference with Leith DIY – a wee project amongst pals that wanted somewhere new to skate that exploded into a whole community initiative bringing people together. Commanded by a small group of ambitious, dedicated skaters and supported by people from all walks of life, Leith DIY has brought out skaters from the woodwork from all over creating an unstoppable force.
The final DIY Jam was co-ordinated after receiving a notice from the council to expect it’s demolition to make way for Edinburgh Trams. Gutted is the word, but it’s the way of the DIY, part of the charm, even, that what you’re building might have a shelf-life. Inevitably, being so successful and bringing so much of the local community together, it received lots of attention and Leith DIY Skateparks have never been so motivated to keep building these spaces.
To celebrate one last hurrah, Leith DIY threw a banger of a closing party – scenes below. It was some send off.
This article isn’t a sad disheartening one though, because in true skateboarder mentality, we get back up and try again. So, Leith 2.0, Rat City’s Lil Bro, whatever you want to call it, is in full motion and we need your support. Having secured a location further up the walk, work is well underway to create the next concrete oasis amongst several other projects in the Leith area. With time, experience and support, the parks are being built with even more enthusiasm and quality to share with everyone. If you would like to support and play a part in something great – please click here to donate. Also, our wonderful local skate shops have joined forces once again to do something awesome, head along to support!
Thanks to Focus, Pieute, Skateboard Scotland, Lioness of Leith, Dreadnought Leith, Skinny pig, Leith Chooses, Skateboard Scotland, Leith DIY Skate, The Honey Farm, Clanx, Pyramid, Local – for all your prizes, funding and support.