The new Sooke Rotary Skatepark community mural is unveiled Tuesday.

Art in the park

New mural at Sooke Rotary Skatepark

There’s a new art display in town, and it’s not where you might expect.

About 45 kids and a handful of volunteers came together last week to redecorate two of the walls at the Sooke skatepark, under the guidance of skateboard coach and community volunteer Debbie Qayum.

“It’s for the kids — I’ve been trying to put a positive light on skateboarding, trying to break (the negative) stereotype” said Qayum.

Working with the District of Sooke, and the Capital Regional District, the project was about three years in the making.

Qayum first got the idea while helping with the skateboarding exploratory program at Journey middle school, and was tired of seeing all the “really rude stuff” that was tagged everywhere at the skatepark.

Qayum handed out surveys to about 400 people at schools and other places in the community and said 98 per cent of responses were in favour of the project.

Several sponsors came on board to help with the project, including Sooke Citizens on Patrol, Sooke RCMP and SEAPARC. The local Home Hardware also donated over $1,000 worth of paint and supplies.

There were also five prizes awarded for categories such as best art. The kids initialed their contributions and Qayum did the judging, she said.

Born on the island, Qayum has lived in East Sooke for the last 13 years and has two teenage boys whom she credits with her participation in the sport.

“My kids were interested so I said ‘let’s go for it!’ And then I end up dragging them half the time, and now I love it.”

Qayum recently started a new business called SideStep, where she will be offering group skateboarding classes as well as one-on-one instruction starting July 5 at John Stubbs Memorial school in Colwood.

Besides teaching, she has also been hard at work getting approval for a quarter-pipe ramp at the Sooke skatepark. It should be installed later this summer or early fall.

Just Posted

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read