A world class watersports facility in Skegness has been rescued from the jaws of closure by a community group, intent on making it bigger and better than ever before.
The Skegness Wakeboard and Waterski Park reopened in May as a not for profit members’ club with all proceeds reinvested for the facility’s expansion and improvement.
Committee chairman Dave Charles says the park’s closure would have been a terrible loss for the area, which neither he nor his fellow members could have tolerated.
“It went right down to the wire - if someone hadn’t stepped in to save it there was a real chance this fantastic facility would have been lost - not just for the current season but forever,” he said.
Dave, whose son Richard became the British under 15 slalom champion through regular practise at the park, believes that as a members’ club dedicated to improvement rather than profit, the facility can go from strength to strength.
Since its reopening, hire costs have been reduced, interest in the club has grown and plans are being hatched to submit National Lottery bids to carry out improvements to the club house.
“This last six weeks have been like a whirlwind - there’s been a lot more interest and it’s really been reinvigorated,” he said.
The course is one of only a handful in the country suitable for national slalom championships and boasts a top class cable system, built by a former trapeze artist Gerry Russel, who ran the club for many years.
Although Dave doesn’t wakeboard or waterski himself, he still takes enjoyment from the tranquil lakeside surroundings.
“There’s no better place to be when the sun is shining by here by the water,” he said.
Dave and his team are also keen to diversify the range of sports offered at the park.
High ranking international windsurfer Robert York has been asked to start offering lessons and it is also hoped that schools will begin to use the facility more.
Although the club is classed as a members organisation, Dave has stressed that it only costs £1 to join and is open to anyone 10 or older, regardless of ability.
To find out more contact the club on 07889 243889 or visit the Water Leisure Park on Wall’s Lane.
Photos by Dave Groves.