Arizona Lottery Helps Open New Skate Park For Underserved Youth

Written By C.J. Pierre on July 6, 2022

An old tennis court at a Phoenix public park has new life after being transformed into a skate plaza.

The City of Phoenix and the Arizona Lottery hosted the grand opening of the Perry Park Skate Plaza. A ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the launch.

The brand new Phoenix skate park is thanks to a partnership between the Arizona Lottery, the ‘Skate After School’ program and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. Community members also say the park is a needed addition to the neighborhood.

Multi-group effort helps bring new skate park to Phoenix

The Perry Park Skate Plaza is located within Perry Park on 32nd Street, south of Thomas Road. The 12,500-square-foot skateboarding plaza boasts 11 unique skateboarding features. There are rails, ramps, curbs and ledges appropriate for all skill levels, including beginners.

As part of the Arizona Lottery‘s “Gives Back” program, more than $20,000 was dedicated to redesigning Perry Park’s underutilized tennis court and reconstructing it into a new skateboard park. The money also allowed for the purchase and installation of ramps and obstacles.

Furthermore, the skate plaza is also a key component in the revitalization of Perry Park by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. It is the first piece of a $1.9 million renovation to help improve the park and its surrounding community.

“Parks are essential to community health, and this skate plaza will give kids and families in this community a safe place to skate and spend time together,” said Phoenix City Councilmember Carlos Garcia.

As a part of Perry Park’s continued improvements, the City of Phoenix plans to renovate the restroom, update lighting, move the sports courts out of flood irrigation, add new fitness stations and install new site furniture and a new ramada.

Arizona Lottery & Skate After School helping kids stay active

Skate After School is a Phoenix-based non-profit. The organization provides after-school skateboarding instruction to underserved youth. The new skate park’s launch supports the Arizona Lottery’s mission of working to help Valley youth get active, stay in school, and learn valuable life skills in a safe and fun environment.

“Studies show that after-school programs such as Skate After School help keep kids safe, boost student success and help parents,” said John Gilliland, the public information officer for Arizona Lottery. “Skate After School has been working with kids in underserved communities and from disadvantaged populations for years, promoting healthy lifestyles and inspiring kids to excel physically and academically. The Arizona Lottery shares that mission and vision.”

The Skate After School non-profit provides weekly after-school programming to more than 240 underserved children across eight schools in the Phoenix metro area. The new skate plaza will be the headquarters for students.

“We’re thrilled about the opening of this park, as Perry sits next to many of the schools we work with and there are just no skate facilities in the vicinity,” said Ryan Lay, Skate After School’s executive director. “Kids in our program end up taking the city bus multiple stops across town to access a skatepark. We’ve seen firsthand what a positive athletic outlet can do for kids and skateboarding is just one piece of the puzzle. This park will provide endless hours of fun for local kids and opportunities to build lasting friendships as they share many sessions together.”

Along with developing the new Perry Park Skate Plaza, the Arizona Lottery gave an additional sponsorship to Skate After School for a total contribution of $50,000. The additional funding provides students with brand new helmets. There will also be new mobile skate ramps for the program and four all-expenses-paid trips to Woodward West summer camp in California.

Over the years, the Arizona Lottery has given $29,471,000 to health and human services organizations throughout the state.

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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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