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It’s 71 kilometres from Gawler in Adelaide’s north to Christie Downs in Adelaide’s south but such is the reputation of the brand new skate park at the Morton Road Reserve that distance is seemingly no barrier.

Already they’re coming from all over and some of the kids are even bringing along brooms to sweep the floor after they’ve done their workout says Tony who has led the site build since April.

Even on a Monday morning in August before the new multi-purpose sports facility on Morton Rd is ready to open, the brand new skate park is busy. It bodes well and it’s much needed.

In tandem with the City of Onkaparinga, the federal government and the Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation, what was a derelict area is shaping up as a must visit sports arena for the local community.

These kids have been waiting here for something to happen for a long, long time says Tony. But already the appreciation is obvious with no stone unturned in transforming a wasteland into not just a world class skate park but a venue including four tennis/netball courts and a backcourt hitting board, a top quality oval, climbing and bbq and wheelchair facilities and more.

What’s more, when it opened in October 2021, it was with a new name as voted by residents. Inclusivity counts but there is a strong practical message too.

Look beyond the new sports centre and it’s clear this is an area of social inequality. They have it tough here and ‘engaging and saving’ the local children and youth is paramount.

Give them a safe and inclusive place for them to be active and where the physical, mental and social impacts can be immense.

It’s not just the facilities that will lead to this outcome – the Foundation will run structured sporting programs with the aim of leading directly to improved schooling outcomes, self-confidence and quality of life.

Give depression and anxiety the boot and engage children and fun adults through a sense of purpose is the remit and allow them to find a sense of community too and the feeling of community ownership and pride that brings. Build trust and you can build skills for life.

It has not come cheaply, the park cost about $3.5 million to put together and the need for donations never stops.

But already it is making a difference. On the August morning that these photos were taken, a local mum Jenny was there to watch over her two children, aged about 13 and 14, put the skate spark through its paces.

Destiny and Eben come here several times a week she said. They all moved down from Port Augusta a year ago and the park has become a milestone already.

It gets them out of the house and off their Playstation she says. That matters hugely. It’s very much what the local kids need. And, we hope, it can only get better.

Very proud of my board at the Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation (David Minear,Kath House,Ramsey Andary,Phil Martin,Chris Gebhardt,Kate Abraham & Alex Panas) for working to achieve life changing/saving outcomes for children through directional change in extreme communities , using our "medicine of sport". 1-We identify communities that need our team2-We work passionately with the local council and communities hand in hand.3-We engage and assist in educating the community around our projects.4-We work with near by schools 5-We deliver free of charge to the children weekly programs all year round into the open space facility in partnership with our fantastic council partners and sporting groups. 6-We are in these facilities for the long haul.7-And we my board and myself deliver this because we are passionate about this space and the life saving impacts it delivers to the kids which then flows on to the parents and greater community. We all do this for zero $ reward because that's what giving is about. Below is a clip that ran in the Ch7 news tonight highlighting our recent venue out north in the City of Playford . The numbers % regarding change in the area are staggering but at this stage I can't reveal. Thanks for watching and feel free to support our foundation and the upcoming projects, we have so much to do . Have a great Easter. Roger

Posted by Roger Rasheed on Friday, April 14, 2017

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