Skatepark 'is too close to pitch'

GUERNSEY’S new skatepark poses a safety risk by being too big and close to a neighbouring football pitch, it has been claimed.

Rod Hamon, president of Saturday League Football, is annoyed that the Beau Sejour skatepark has been expanded to the very back of the football pitch – which has now been shortened. He is also worried that when it is eventually built, children using the park might be hit by stray footballs. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1290071)
Rod Hamon, president of Saturday League Football, is annoyed that the Beau Sejour skatepark has been expanded to the very back of the football pitch – which has now been shortened. He is also worried that when it is eventually built, children using the park might be hit by stray footballs. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1290071)

GUERNSEY’S new skatepark poses a safety risk by being too big and close to a neighbouring football pitch, it has been claimed.

Saturday Football League president Rod Hamon said the under-construction park is dangerously close to the adjacent pitch at Beau Sejour and footballs could potentially injure users of the park and passers-by.

He was even concerned the league could lose the pitch if the safety fears were realised.

‘My main concern is really where they have put it,’ said Mr Hamon. ‘It is for the safety of people behind the goal.'

Guernsey Xtreme Sports Association chairman and Culture and Leisure minister Mike O’Hara denied the pitch would be taken away due to safety fears. He also said the positioning of the skatepark met regulations, including those of the Football Association, and made assurances against any health and safety concerns.

Comments for: "Skatepark 'is too close to pitch'"

Alex Cross

Mr Hamon has plenty of chance to object while our planning permission board was in place at the site, which i believe was over 3 months!

One does have to beg the question, which is worse, skaters being hit by a football, or young children on climbing frames being hit by a football?

It has taken years of campaigning, negotiations, and fund raising to get to this point, to say the location or the design of the park is a surprise to him now is absolutely hilarious!

And need i point out there's a football pitch just over the wall at Cambridge Park as well?

I invite your comments, Mr Hamon.

Bob Header

Tinted Glasses, Cant see the whole picture!


Is this for real? some people need to get a life.


Why is he complaining. Its our safety and its not like the path, before the skatepark was too close was it? Its our safety.


this is a joke, i love how he jumps on the safety band wagen, nothing gets peoples attention quite like claiming people are at risk, when in reality its because he doesnt like the look of a temporary work fence thats to close to a goal post , pathetic! the contractors need more space then the actual work area to work with so what you see in the photo is not going to be the finished distance!!,

worst comes to worst "ITS A GOAL POST" you know these can be moved and pitch lines re marked??, there not permanant! not exactly an engineering master peice or rocket science, if this was the only football pitch on the island i might agree and have some sympathy for him but its not and in regards to the saftey aspect hes way off, infact smaller the park the more of a risk it is to the users because your have more then one person at a time riding at the same obstacle so you could potentialy collide with one another which is worse then actualy crashing or being hit by a ball!, and judgeing by the plans its not actualy that big! also majority of the skate park users will more then likely be over the age of 12 unlike the users of the old play park which was already there! also most likely be wearing safety gear for there own protection against falling on to concrete! so being on the look out for 2 hours on a saturday afternoon for a stray ball is like water off a ducks back.


So what about the footpath that has been there for years very close to the pitch?

Get real.

Beausie Dad

I understand the issue raised, but never heard anybody complaining that a child could get hit and possibly hurt when they were playing on the old play park which is in exactly the same place and had only a small fence to stop toddlers escaping! Come on Mr Hamon don't whinge for the sake of it. The island has plenty of other football pitches that could be used, however the skaters only have one dedicated park!


Seriously? Give us a break, we finally get a skatepark approved and the building begins, then there is complaints? They had plenty of time to complain it was to close to one of the 30 odd pitches they have all around the island.

chill winston

For insurance purposes the skatepark is legally required to erect a fence around the park. This would not be an issue. If it was an issue, I'm sure queries would have been raised when it was a young children's playground. The plans have been available in their entirety to the public for quite some time now and this is just a little petty if I'm honest. How many decent sized skateparks does Guernsey have in comparison to football pitches?


Oh please! One skate park and how many football pitches .........................???


Mr Hamon,

In the photo you are standing right next to the answer to your problem, it`s called NETTING.

If you are that concerned then look for a sponsor to pay to have netting raised but, I warn you, it took 11 years to get planning permission and money to get this white elephant off the ground during which time you could have voiced your opinions.

You also fail to mention your worries about the threats to safety of the public when the public are allowed within inches of the touchline of the pitch during a game. I`ve never seen anyone being told to move back because they might get a ball in the face.

You are pathetic sir.


Quite right.

Not to mention the players themselves - why, they're mere inches away from being hit! Perhaps we should just ban football, negate all fears about people being hit by rogue balls.

God forbid we let people do their own risk assessments and take responsibility for their own safety...



just a point, and i am not bothered one way or the other, But wasnt it reported on the press mr.ohara saying he was surprised it was so big


There is a skatepark in just about every town in New Zealand that are used every day and packed with kids having fun. Most are near or next to parks and sports grounds so all the kids activities are in one place. Thank goodness Guernsey has got a Skatepark at last ! So good to see at last - leave the political bull out of it and let the kids have some fun.

getalife mate

Are the Granite walls/trees too close then Mr Hamon!


Goal in one ~~~ who for?

pb falla

Future politician lol


People like him should get a life.

Sad, sad kill joy.


Hamon scores 'own goal'!

Hartley a fence?


Doesn't seem to matter what is done for our Guernsey youngsters, there is always a good, old fashioned, bitter Guern killjoy in there somewhere. These kids have worked tirelessly with the aid of sponsorship to bring about their skatepark, they deserve their dream and I wish them many hours of enjoyment with their sport.


All I can say is the footballers who play on the pitch can't be as good as me. When I shoot I expect to get the ball in the goal, not behind it!

Seriously though, the other posts illustrate why Mr Hamon's complaint is totally unnecessary. The skaters have had to fight hard enough to get this built without having to put up with this. Even if they had to lose one pitch (which they don't) it's fair to say football is already well catered for on this island - two other pitches within a stone's throw of this one for starters - without trying to throw a spanner in the works here....and I love football and have never skated/BMX'd in my life.

Luke Vidamour

Mr Hamon is being a complete and utter embarrassment to himself and his saturday league by choosing to go straight to the press with this complaint & pose for a photo rather then mentioning this to any member of the GXSA during the fully public planning stages over the last year.

Choosing sensationalism of common sense. The easy route of complaining to the local paper as opposed to contacting personally the GXSA at any part of the process with this concern. A previous article he asks why he wasn't informed... im afraid Mr Hamon that being the "president" of the saturday league does not make you someone worthy of special treatment, plans were public and open to any concerns long before building started. Were you expecting a personal phone call? perhaps along with the thousands of others who use the park? surely it would be much easier to just put details in the paper and easily accesible online for whom it may concern? surely if you are so serious about the saturday league you would take an ounce of interest in regards to any developments on you sports used sites? no run crying to the local paper when building starts?

the park doesn't affect the pitch. And a safety fence is being put up around the perimeter.

how about the previous children's climbing apparatus in that area Mr Hamon? surely that was a hazard too? how many injurys were sustained?

are saturday league players THAT inaccurate at striking a ball? if so i suggest they take up another sport that doesn't put so many lives at risk.

Rod Hamon, your concerns would have been valid and worthy of discussion if you had taken the slightest interest during the planning stages, or had chosen to speak to the GSXA personally before running to the press for a glamour shoot by the goalpost.

there are no issues for concern with the layout or location of the skatepark and that has been approved and finalised. if it offends your health and safety standards i suggest you use one of the other football pitches in the island. i think there are 3 on that site. and probably 20 around the island.

what a lazy lazy way to go about this.

mista joon

Methinks that if all you skatey types who have all rushed to post on here had put that energy into fundraising instead of having a go at poor old Rod, then you may have completed your fundraising a tiny bit quicker

Alex Cross


Alex Cross

Although i would assume that £250,000 is a lot more than most other sporting groups have to privately raise without any States funding?

Maybe i'm wrong...

Luke Vidamour

250,000 privately raised in how long? 5 years? i think thats not a bad effort at all! It is that time and commitment which is the reason so many people involved feel strongly about defending the plans and building of the project. especially when this issue could have been addressed during planning stages in the appropriate manner with the appropriate parties involved, not running to the paper.

Its just totally the wrong way to go about it. The fact it has taken until building has begun is ridiculous.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter as its been privately funded & planning approved. This park will be used 7 days a week not for 90 minutes on a saturday. That pitch is one of three on the premises, and its use isn't even compromised by the new skate facility. As the image above shows there is a clear 25+ foot of grass between the goal and the area that has been turfed for construction, and there will be a perimeter fence around the park that from what i hear will be about chest high?

Im sure hes a nice guy but what a poor attitude to approach this whole situation in. The league uses the pitch for a few hours on a saturday. The park is 30 foot from the goal line.

I really cant see what there is to complain about?

mista joon


The real issue here is that while the plans were available for anyone who could be bothered to make the effort to go to Frossard House, the information in the GEP article at the time merely referred to the skatepark being on the site of the former children's playground.

As I recall, no mention was made regarding the park actually being bigger than the playground.

Hence once construction work starts, those who feel they have been misled will naturally want to have their say, and the best way to do this is via the GEP.


The "skatey types" have managed to raise a quarter of a million pounds during an economic slowdown for a project that isn't exactly mainstream. Frankly I'd say they've done pretty well. "Poor old Rod" as you call him had plenty of time to make submissions, it's not like the skatepark idea just appeared out of thin air last week.


As others have noted, there has been plenty of time to raise concerns prior to the start of the work. I'm hoping the football pitch will be too close and have to be moved, to try and shield my children from the footballers' foul language on a Saturday morning.


Get rid of the football pitch. Grown men kicking a bag of wind around! Get a life!


"Grown men kicking a bag of wind around! Get a life!"

Sounds just like recent States meetings :-)


Wow! Person A shows concern over a "risk" to Person B....Person B abuses and feels open derogatory remark is his divine right.

Come on people, anyone can raise a concern, but if it is unfounded then a polite response is all that is needed, not personal unfounded and inaccurate judgement in an open forum.

For decades we have wanted a bike/skate park that will fit in the community. Yes it is a great achievement and the fund raising should not be put into question. Yet when the first person shows concern, many here seem happy to suggest the other community sport move on or resort to simply defaming it!

What happens in the future IF, and only IF (to give you another scenario) somebody gets an injury in the park after getting hit by a ball? Clearly a civil and intelligent communication between these parties is severely lacking and puts at risk a civil resolution to that scenario. What’s going to happen? Will you end up suing each other and close down either or both facilities?

There appears to be an “if you don’t like it then move on attitude” from those who seem to be supporting, or possibly heavily involved in the Skate park on this forum. That is not what has been campaigned for all of these years. Yes it has been frustrating and a long, long time in coming but if it wasn’t Mr H raising the concern should you not be raising it yourselves and looking for a resolution?

Put up some fencing, remove the risk or alleviate the concern through decent conversation and arrangement. Simple and decent behaviour, end of.

Alex Cross

A fence is already in our plan. With all due respect to Mr Hamon, if he had looked at the plans before spades were in the ground he would be well aware of that, the size/location of the park have hardly been a secret.

I appreciate he wants to protect his sport on the island, this just really seems to be a non-issue when there is room for both parties to safely exist at the same site, as many have said already, who would be more at risk, teenage/fully grown skaters, or toddlers?

mista joon


Look at my reply above to Luke

However, once we have ignored the sensationalism, there is no reason why both sports cannot co-exist on that site


i can see where your comming from but hes angered alot of people by running to the press and potentialy jeopardizing years of planning and "private" funding for what? because he thinks its to close to a goal post? and the parks to big? who is he to say that? i bet that guys never actualy seen a skate park! or know what there about, the issue he seems to have can easily be resolved with the GXSA without the need to go to the press with words like "saftey hazard" and "dangerous" just to grab the attention of someone that has the power to do something in his favour! pathetic! and very very selfish concidering beausy has other football pitchs on that same site!

i honestly dont think any skate park user will have a problem with footballs, the biggest worry is the concrete but crashing is part of skatepark sports and thats something everyone accepts everytime they enter the park. if someone had of done something because of his little tantrum in the guernsey press , with planning permission and finding another site it might be another 4+ years of waitng! how longs enough? theres enough football pitchs on this island not to mention you can play football in most peoples back gardens + on the common, even if they have to sacrifice one football pitch in the grand scheme of things its nothing,


might be better if the players could stick the ball in the net rather than blazing miles high and wide....


I think the sports should combine to create a mega sport called 'skateballs'. "Poor old Rod" would be dipped in honey and covered in cornflakes and would be presented to the winners of the 'skateballs' championship!


haha here check this out,


I have known Rod for years and feel the criticism he has received here is unfair. It was generally understood by many that the skatepark would be where the old playground was but it has expanded much closer to the football pitch meaning it is more likely people will get hit - and if they're travelling on a skateboard or bike at the time, then injuries could happen. Rod is not saying there should not be a skatepark but just that it may not be in the best place. To those who say, the footballers should get the ball in the goal, even Lionel Messi misses sometimes! A fence is all well and good but how high will it be? There will be many stray balls flying over the top of it.

Yes, he is trying to look after his own sport, which he should in his position which takes up a huge amount of his time, but he is also trying to look out for others so should not get the personal abuse some have left here.

Alex Cross

I appreciate he shouldn't be attacked personally, however the point remains that plans have been available for some considerable length of time, and that our development permission notice was up on the site for months. I really don't think ignorance can be claimed here.

As for the not being the best site, as i have said - this is far from the first site we tried to secure, there's always somebody who wants to make a complaint about our plans, it just happens this was one where (to my knowledge) no complains were ever raised.

John le page

What a loser. Get a life. Give the skaters a park it's very cool.


how long has it taken for us to get this park built and when it finaly happens someone has to try and take our joy away. The one thing this island seriously needa to do is take a long hard look at its self the people have nothing better to do then moan about sReomething that can only benifit this place u can play football anywhere u like but u cant ride or skate because u get penalized this is a purpose built facilty which is far far over due because the state wouldnt help as usual so we with the ki.d help of local busnisses mananged to do it ourselves so if u are worried about the size of the pitch so much y dnt u diy theres plenty of places over here for football wat about the vale school playo.g feilds whens that ever used can u imagine prifessial bmxers skaters coming over to c a new park thats had to b restricted in size because if a football we would b the laughing stock get a life get over it