A Lurgan schoolboy is the driving force behind a petition to build a skate park in the borough.
Reece McKibbin (12) is a second year student at Lurgan Junior High School who has taken the bull by the horns and launched a crusade to have leisure services consider an urban activity centre for the local area.
“Reece would go down on the train to T13 with his friends,” said his mum Jenine (32).
She continued: “T13 is in the Titanic Quarter. It’s an old warehouse kitted out for skateboards, scooters and BMX bikes.
“Sometimes you’d maybe have 13 of them on the train. Myself or my husband would bring him down on other occasions.
“It’s only £6.50 for up to six hours, so it’s brilliant value.
“Reece came home from school one day and said to me, ‘I’m thinking of doing a petition’.
“He sometimes takes these notions, so I didn’t think much of it until he showed me a petition he’d printed out in school.
“He’s got over 1,000 signatures now. It’s something he feels really strongly about.
“He’s got everyone in his school to sign it and I’ve taken it into my work. There’s signatures from young and old on it.”
Ulster Unionist politicians Meta Crozier, Colin McCusker and Aaron Carson accompanied Reece to council headquarters last Thursday where he presented the director of leisure services with the petition.
Reece said: “I’d go to T13 at least once a month.
“It’s quite a lot of hassle to get there. Either a group of us have to organise to get the train or my mum or dad have to drive me down and pick me up again.
“If there was something like this in the area, it would be a lot handier.
“I’d be able to go more often and I’m sure other young people who aren’t able to go to the one in Belfast would use it.”
Reese has been into scootering for almost two years. When he’s not on his scooter Reece likes to play video games on his PS3.
He added: “The director of leisure services thought it was good that I’d started the petition.
“I don’t know if it will come to anything, but I can hope.”
T13 is Belfast’s very own Urban Sports Park.
Set in a former shipbuilding warehouse, it offers everything from BMX to skateboarding, urban art to DJ sessions. It boasts vistas overlooking Harland & Wolff’s iconic cranes, Samson and Goliath.