Winnipeg welcomes year-round indoor skatepark ‘Pitikwe’ for inclusive fun

Click to play video: 'New downtown Winnipeg skatepark set to open in late October'
New downtown Winnipeg skatepark set to open in late October
Manitoba Skateboarding Coalition president Graham Constant invited Global's Clay Young to drop into a downtown skatepark project geared towards inclusivity and accessibility on Friday. – Sep 8, 2023

A new skatepark is headed to Winnipeg in the fall and it will be indoors so fun can be had all year round.

The Pitikwe Skatepark is named for the Cree word meaning ‘come in’ or ‘welcome,’ which is a fitting title given the aims of the group behind the project.

Graham Constant, the president of the Manitoba Skateboarding Coalition, says it’s exciting to have an indoor park where everyone is welcome.

“We are here to serve our rider community because we have a big skateboard community but we also have a big BMX, scooter and roller skater community that we are trying to serve because we want this to be accessible and inclusive for all,” Constant says.

Currently, the only indoor skatepark in the city is operated by Youth for Christ, which has faced criticism for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQ2 skaters and employees.

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“We need a place that is also inclusive to everyone and I think the people we have on this project have values that we hope skateboarding can continue once this place is up and running and we can kind of mentor people with inclusive values as well.” Nadine Hink with the skateboard coalition says.

In addition to having a place where everyone is welcome, the group’s Bryce Anderson says having a place that’s available year-round will be great for the community.

“I think it’s important to keep the youth busy and active,” he says. “Skateboarding, personally for me, has kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up. It’s a community-building thing. If you ever got to the Forks or any local skatepark you can really see that they really foster a positive community aspect.”

The new skatepark is scheduled to open in Portage Place Mall late next month.

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