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Who will be crowned King of the Kongcrete?

by BEAUX WHITE EAGLE/Staff Writer
| September 14, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Drop in and catch some air at the annual King of the Kongcrete skate competition and fundraiser.

This Saturday from 9 a.m. until the late afternoon, the Bonner County Skate Park Association will host the competition at Travers Parks. The event will give skaters from all around Bonner County a chance to share in their passion, raise funds for their community and give Sandpoint a chance to gain some insight to the local skate community, said Rory Whitney, BCSPA principal officer and owner of 7B Boardshop.

“Our hope is just to raise awareness for our fund and show to the community that there is a large, large group of kids and individuals who enjoyed wheels sports, such as skateboarding, and that it's a really great place for kids to socialize and be active and be creative,” Whitney said. “But the main goal is to get a bunch of kids down there, have as much fun as possible and show Sandpoint that skateboarding has a large group of kids and people that take place in it and that we should be recognized. We need a state-of-the-art facility to continue that passion in our area.”

When the event started 16 years ago, it was a time and place for local skaters to show off their best skills and connect. Now, the event has taken on a different purpose. After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the competition made a return to Sandpoint in September 2021 but with some changes. Chiefly, the event became a fundraiser after the forming of the BCSPA as a nonprofit. This also led to the organization taking over the planning of the event from what used to be a joint effort between 7B Boardshop and the city.

With the expansion of the concrete lake being included in the city of Sandpoint’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the association and the city have been working closely on this endeavor. During last year’s event, Maeve Nevins-Lavtar, the city senior planner and project manager helped oversee gaining input from the community on the needs and wants of the skatepark.

Nearly a year later those plans are coming to fruition, with construction slated to start in spring 2023, Whitney said. Official news of the expansion came in July when Whitney announced on Facebook the bid for the expansion project had been awarded.

The expansion will include an indoor sports court and the expansion of the existing skatepark in Travers Park, adding 9,500 square feet to the existing 5,500.

“It's gonna be an all-wheel park, AKA a skate park,” Whitney said. “The bid with the skatepark builder is now under contract, which is Dreamland Skate Parks. They're in the midst of drawing up a design that we can kind of go off of and add more input as they get the design finalized and put a little bit of our own wants and needs in that design.”

The long-awaited expansion will break ground in the spring of next year, regardless of funding. But Whitney said the association would like to avoid phasing of the construction and see it all done in one fell swoop. With that mission and a goal of $500,000 in mind, the organization has been actively fundraising to the tune of $300,000 saved toward the expansion budget. That includes donations from various local businesses and a $95,000 injection from the city that was included in the master plan. In order to reach that half-million dollar mark, Whitney said the group is still looking to find donors and grant opportunities.

“We're still actively seeking donors. You know, fundraising helps, but we're never gonna get to that mark by just doing community fundraising. We're really looking for substantial donations from locals or other businesses,” Whitney said. “This would be a great opportunity to throw some funds at the kids and give them a nice creative outlet to go and enjoy themselves and hone their skills of skateboarding and being creative and being active.”

Registration costs for the skate competition will be $30. The entry includes a T-shirt and entry into the competition that begins at 9 a.m. The contest is expected to start at 11 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. at the latest, depending on the number of competitors. All proceeds go toward the expansion fund. Those not competing are still invited to come out and show support by watching the event or buying a Bonner County Skate Association T-shirt. Anyone wishing to donate toward the skatepark expansion can do so at the event, dropping by the 7B Boardshop or online at bit.ly/3LbCBaW.

photo

(Photo courtesy BONNER COUNTY SKATEPARK ASSOCIATION)

Bonner County Skatepark Association principal officer Rory Whitney called King of the Kongcrete event a "complete success".

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