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Byron Shire
May 19, 2021

Move to slash funds from Ballina’s Fair Go skateboard competition

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A skater gets plenty of air at the Ballina skatepark. (file pic)
A skater gets plenty of air at the Ballina skatepark. (file pic)

Darren Coyne

A trio of Ballina councillors wants to strip $10,000 sponsorship money from the Fair Go skateboarding competition and use the money towards progressing a skate park in the Alstonville/Wollongbar area.

At the last monthly meeting of the council, it was decided that the council would enter into a one-year sponsorship agreement with the company Ownlife, and chip in $10,000 sponsorship towards the 2015 event.

Ownlife, operated by Richard Flude, took over the running of the event late last year after long-term sponsor Skateboarding Australia withdrew in September.

Shortly after, Mr Flude contacted the council to nominate his company to conduct the event, and the council agreed to the arrangement in October, and the event went ahead in December.

But now Crs David Wright, Robyn Hordern and Sue Meehan are pushing to change the arrangement.

They have lodged a recission motion that will be discussed at today’s council meeting in Ballina.

If the motion is successful, the trio have proposed supporting Ownlife with ‘in-kind’ support to the value of $400, and using the $10,000 towards progression a skatepark on the Alstonville plateau.

The councillors argue in their proposed motion that while skating has both fitness and fun benefits, the $10,000 would be better spent on supporting the building of an actual skatepark.

‘Given the current fiscal environment and the fact that all other events in the shire undergo rigorous comparison for finite funds, the allocation of a substantial sponsorship to a private company rather than a Not for Profit, for a competition which last year had a small number of entrants is inappropriate and would be far more beneficial being allocated towards the new skatepark, the councillors said in their recission motion.

The Fair Go competition is Australia’s longest standing skateboarding competition.

Last year’s event attracted 71 participants, with the total crowd estimated at about 300 people.

 

 


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