RE: “In defence of Huxley Park” ad in April 3 Sounder

Wednesday, April 10 2019

I have the incredible privilege of working with many of Gabriola’s youth. 

Just this week as a Community Coach I instructed the student body of Gabriola Elementary School at a healthy population of 148 students. One of the often held conversations I have with youth is the following: “Coach Jenny, how close are we to having a skatepark?” 

The children love to hear how our funds towards the goal of $72k keeps growing week by week.  

But this week my excitement in this fundraising pursuit was challenged and dampened as I was hit by Mr Betts’ message of stopping Huxley Park development. 

How am I to hold this conversation now knowing that there are community members who are not behind the current skatepark vision and plans for Gabriola’s youth?  

As a Physical Literacy and Active for Life advocate and educator nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing young children transfer the basic blocks I am helping foster (agility, balance, coordination and speed) to a recreational pursuit.  

I am such an advocate of the Park, and recreational activities that I have spent countless hours fundraising and spreading the Keep On Pushin’ message. 

Huxley Park is the ideal placement for a skatepark.  My children, and the youth of the school can safely cross at the crosswalk at the school and hightail it across the Commons footpath and be in the Park in the time it takes the bell to finish ringing.  

Gabriola, please support the upcoming generations in their pursuit for the freedom of play, in an ideal location (one that is central and highly visible). Let’s celebrate activity and not continue boxing our kids away in backyards and media rooms. 

~ Jenny Ivany

Gabriola Community Coach

p.s. When my 14 year old son asked what I was doing on the computer, I said I was writing a letter to the editor regarding the skatepark. He then asked me, “Do you think it will be built this year, Mum?”