I've already talked to a lot of people and organizations that are trying to support skateboarding through building skate parks around the globe. During that process, I've realized that not every region in the world is blessed with skate parks in every corner. Skate parks are something you have to fight for. This interview is with Maddalena from the project "Skate Farm". "Skate Farm" is a skateboard initiative from Italy and they are fighting. They are fighting for giving skaters in the Piedmont region a place to skate, a place to follow their passion.
Read the full interview with all details about the project and struggles they have to deal with.
The "Skate Farm" project is the only indoor skate park in the Piedmont region. The skate park is located in San Giuliano Nuovo, a town in the Piedmont region, in Northern Italy. We created "Skate Farm" as well as the "La Brugola Skate Association" in order to support skateboarding in our region and in Italy in general. It all started in 2012 and since then we are trying to push it and make it a quality skate park for everyone. When I'm talking about "we" I mean Massimiliano Barile, Marcello Scilipoti, Angel Perez and Le Sueur Jean Felipe. We are all doing this together.
In my opinion, there are currently two types of members involved in our association. The ones that are registered, practicing and working with their daily quota, but objectively they are not interested in the internal management of the association. Then there are also a dozen members that are more involved. They are supporting "Skate Farm" with all the operational tasks, the internal management of the association and more.
With regard to public skate parks, the construction and planning is often done by the municipalities. Most of the time the municipalities do not go to people that are skilled in the design and construction of skate parks. They just don't really talk with the skaters. Several times, municipal funds are just wasted for often precarious projects; this arises from the fact that in Italy up to about a year ago there was no institutional reference point of skateboarding. The problem arises simply when an initiative or a project is not managed by a group of skaters.
Yeah. The government is not very good at funding the initiatives towards skateboarding, because it depends a lot on the position of local political interest from the financial point of view. The availability of fundings is always low. In fact, before we created "Skate Farm", we tried to submit a project proposal in three different municipals, but they have never been taken into consideration.
The biggest problem for our project at the moment is to define some services of the structure in order to maintain the comfort of the people attending the association and be able to exploit the outdoor space by creating other structures for skateboarding without ever neglecting the philosophy of work to low cost. Furthermore we are trying to figure out some collaboration projects.
We tried to get in touch with a few brands like Monster Energy, Go Pro, Red Bull etc. But since we don't have a contact person at these brands, it is really hard to get a response. Most of the answers are however, automatic responses. The only big brand that has supported us during the events was Vans. They supported us with skate stuff and funding for big events. However, it is not easy to find financial support. We also contacted other organizations like us. For example "Make Life Skate Life", but untill today we did not receive an answer.
Just recently we were able to get a collaboration with the guys from Cream Prime Grip They want to help us through the sale of their grip tape, which is pretty sick. Besides that, they will help us out with some material for our skate school and for the awards of some events we are planning to do in the future.
We want to create a quality skate park that can be free for practice of skateboarding through an annual membership fee. We want to avoid charging an entrance fee or something like that. Furthermore we also want to give the kids an opportunity to grow their passion for skating through a skate house, which is another project that is under development. We already have a part of that skate house that has several rooms. It is mainly to accommodate the volunteers that are willing to help us with the project and skaters who are just there to practice. The initiative is not only for skaters, but also for all kind of artists like sculptors.