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Phuket student plans to build new skatepark

Phuket student plans to build new skatepark

PHUKET: Eleven-year-old Phuket student Ben McMillan is well on the way to building a new concrete skatepark for himself and fellow students at Phuket International Academy Day School (PIADS).

By Claire Connell

Thursday 1 May 2014, 12:50PM

Ben and Elin with their skateboards at the site of the new skatepark.

Ben and Elin with their skateboards at the site of the new skatepark.

What started as a school project to build a skate park has now become reality, and Ben believes it will be finished in a couple of months once the builders start.

He says the idea first came to him when he starting skateboarding around six months ago. He thought it would be great to have a halfpipe made from wood on school grounds, which would bring all the students together and provide a place where they can have fun.

“Then I thought of making it a bit bigger and a bigger challenge.”

Ben’s idea grew and the school held a carwash fundraiser a couple of months ago where B27,000 was raised, bringing the total funds raised to B47,000. Ben estimates the whole project will cost around B150,000. PIADS has offered to loan Ben the money, which will be reimbursed with fundraising money.

At the school at the moment there is a concrete area for the secondary school students, but primary school students don’t have much room to skate. The skate park will allow students to play during their break times, and a teacher will be on duty. Safety gear, including helmets and knee and elbow pads, will be required by those using the park.

Ben says the school currently has a close relationship with students at the nearby Bang Jo Burmese school, and he hoped the skatepark could be used to teach the students how to skate.


The design will be finalised once he talks to more students at the school to get their views on what the park needs. Naming rights will be available to the highest bidder.

While the skate park will be initially open to school students only, the plan is to make it available to the public at a later date.

“This is a new experience for the school, and it’s something that not every school has,” Ben says, adding that his father Ralph and teacher James Forsythe have been helping out a lot.

A beach party fundraiser will be held on May 24 at Gaia Restaurant on Layan Beach at 4pm, with help from classmate Elin Ydmark, 10. The entry price is yet to be set, but it will probably be between B200 and B400. There will be student music performers from around Phuket as well as activities for children. Elin is helping to organise this as part of her school project, “The Joy of Music”.

For more details or to get involved to perform in the concert, contact Ben on

Stand Up Projects also are fundraising for a new community skatepark in the Bang Tao area, and have held several fundraisers recently.  

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