By Sam Wildow
TROY — Over the weekend, volunteers with Troy City Skatepark Unite painted over graffiti on the equipment at the Joe Reardon Skatepark in Troy.
Matt Williams, of Troy City Skatepark Unite, organized the volunteer event last weekend to improve the equipment at the skatepark.
“Often times, skateboarding and the culture has this sort of rebellious stigma that doesn’t look good for us,” Williams said. Williams, who has worked at the skateboarding company Alien Workshop for over the last 20 years, has been involved in skateboarding since he was 11 years old.
“I just want to show the importance of it. Skateboarding is now in the Olympics. It’s well-accepted, and skateboard parks are growing all over the United States,” Williams said. “I just want to be a part of something in my hometown and give back to what’s made me who I am.”
Williams also said he wanted to raise positive awareness for the skatepark and the skateboarders who use it.
“I want to show that these kids that are skating here and using the park — just because there’s graffiti doesn’t mean it’s them that’s doing it,” Williams said. “We’re painting over it.” He said the event was all volunteers, adding they also received approval from the city of Troy to do that improvement work.
Troy City Skatepark Unite is also raising funds for a new skatepark, one that will also appeal to BMX riders and rollerbladers, too. The group has partnered with the Troy Rec to hold the funds they raise.
“I was kind of part of the very beginnings of the very first skate park in Troy,” Williams said. He commended Charles Sharett, a former director of Recreation in Troy, with helping previous skateboarders in Troy with getting the first skatepark built in Troy.
“He’s the reason we got the very first skatepark,” Williams said. He said the first skatepark were ramps placed in the Hobart Arena parking lot during the summer.
“It’s been my whole life, I want to give back to it,” Williams said.
Troy City Skatepark Unite will be holding a fundraising event on Sept. 25 at the Joe Reardon Skatepark, 99 N. Ridge Ave. in Troy, between 1-5 p.m. There will be raffles, free food, skateboarding, and music provided by Trojan City Music.
For more information about Troy City Skatepark Unite, visit them on Instagram or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TCSUNITE.