Community stories: 11 January 2021
Matong and Ganmain are two small towns in the Coolamon Shire in south west New South Wales. With a combined population of just over 900 people, about a quarter of which are aged 5-25, the communities expressed a need for more youth engagement opportunities and facilities where young people were able to have a sense of belonging.
The Council recently engaged a community development worker with the aim of better supporting the community. Following extensive consultation with the villages, a mobile skate park was nominated as the preferred option to promote youth health and cohesion, as well as providing a place that community groups can utilise for events throughout the year.
A $25,000 grant from FRRR’s Tailored Grants program, supported by The Berrembed Trust, was used to construct a space to facilitate the use of a mobile skate park at Matong and Ganmain. While Ganmain had the existing infrastructure to support the skate park, a concrete slab was constructed to be used as a launch pad in Matong, and when not being used as a skate park will be able to be used for a variety of youth events and activities.
To launch the skate park, Coolamon Shire Council hosted a skate workshop and safety session on-site at Matong as a part of the Youth Week Celebrations. Coaches from Totem Skateboarding provided participants with introduction workshops to build up skills and techniques before giving a demonstration themselves.
The skate park is shared among the communities on a rotational roster, ensuring that each community can utilise the facility throughout the year. Due to the success of the project, the Coolamon Shire Council is seeking additional grant funding to construct concrete slabs at Ardlethan, Ganmain and Marrar.