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Oldest Australian skate park heritage listed

Feb 12, 2016

  • 40-year-old Albany Snake Run Skateboard Park recognised for heritage value
  • View archival and recent skateboarding footage at the Albany Skate Park below
  • Watch television coverage below
Albany Snake Run Skateboard Park, Australia’s oldest purpose-built skate park, and the second oldest in the world, has been State heritage listed.Heritage Minister Albert Jacob made the announcement on the eve of the skate park’s 40th anniversary celebrations in Albany tomorrow.

“This 140 metre-long concrete track is not only highly valued by the people of Albany but by skaters internationally as a prototype that influenced early skate park designs in the USA,” Mr Jacob said.

The Minister said the genesis for the skate park came from Albany high school students who raised $3,000 in three months to build the skate park in 1976.

“So impressed with the enthusiasm of the students, the then Albany council donated $10,000 and the land.  As such, it is thought to be the world’s first community-built skate park,” he said.

“From these humble beginnings, the ‘snake run’ rose to international prominence when the then world skateboard champion Russ Howell described it as ‘the best track I’ve ever seen’. The skate park went on to host Australia’s first National Skateboard Championship in 1979.”

Mr Jacob said of the nearly 500 skate parks built around the world during the 1970s, only 30 still existed today. The oldest skate park was in New Zealand.

“For skaters around the world, the Albany skate park tells an important story about the history of their sport, which grew to become a global phenomenon and is still as popular as ever today,” he said.

“In recognition of its significance, the State Government is the first in Australia to heritage list a skate park, making Albany only the third skate park to be heritage-listed in the world.”

The City of Albany, in partnership with the Perth International Arts Festival 2016 Great Southern program, will host a free community event, including skating performances and demonstrations, tomorrow from 11.30am at the park in Hare Street, Albany.

Read other media statements issued by the Minister.

Watch Channel Seven's Today Tonight story about the skate park here

Below is some footage of Former US and World Skateboard Champion Russ Howell showing his skills on the Albany Snake Run Skateboard Park in the 1970s and the Skateboard Park today.

Minister for Heritage Albert Jacob, Mayor Dennis Wellington, Russ Howell and young people from Albany
inHerit - an online portal for heritage listings

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