PUMPED UP G E T R E A D Y T O B E Tillsonburg’s new pump track is a labour of love

W hen 23-year-old Kolin Smith was killed in a motor vehi- cle accident outside Springford on December 20, 2014, his family and friends were devastated. How could a young man who was so full of life be gone? But over the past two years, those closest to Kolin have sought to work through their grief by pouring their heart and soul into a place he loved more than any other: the Tillsonburg Skate Park. “It’s so great to see this place packed with kids,” says Kolin’s fa- ther, Terry, watching as riders test out the brand new pump track he helped design and create. The track, which welcomed its first bike and scooter riders in October, is only the third such facility in Ontario. Com- prised of asphalt trails, rolls, hills, steep corners and ramps, the track is designed to require minimal ped- dling and is suitable for riders of all ages. “Pump tracks are just starting to catch on in North America,” says Terry, noting that he saw his first while visiting New Zealand last year. “They’re a really nice comple- ment to concrete skateparks and something even adults can enjoy.” “Kolin was one of the kids that pe- titioned Council to build the skate-

park back in 2001, and once it was built, it became a second home for him—a sanctuary,” Terry recalls. “He spent hours there, even in the winter. After he died, Kolin’s friends approached the Town and asked if the park could be renamed in his honour.” Moved by the stories of how Kolin

had been mentor and inspiration to dozens of young riders, Council ap- proved the request and in 2015, the park became officially known as the Kolin Smith Memorial Skatepark. “We were all so grateful to the Town for working with us on that project, that we started dreaming about ways the park could be made

Terry Smith (second from left) with some of Kolin’s friends

Photo: Big Bear Imaging


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