PEMBROKESHIRE’S newest skatepark carved itself a place on the pro calendar on Saturday (May 17), as skaters and bikers from all over the UK took part in a day of displays and competitions.

The day-long ‘opening jam’ was organised to celebrate the official opening of the park, which was unveiled late last year after 12 years hard work by campaigners Haverfordwest Skatepark Association (HSA).

Cuttin the ribbon, HSA chairman Geraint Williams said: “It is with a tremendous amount of pride that we can now, at last, formally open the new Pembrokeshire Skatepark.

“It was so rewarding to see it being built, and even more so to see it coming alive and people’s skills improving by the day.”

Geraint also paid tribute to everyone who had supported the project, including Narberth Skate Group, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Valero, Dragon LNG and County Sports.

But he said the biggest boost had come from the Big Lottery, without whose £423,217 donation HSA’s “vision and dream” would never have been realised.

The opening of the £500,000 park was also the setting for the second official NASS qualifier of the season, drawing in skaters and riders from as far afield as Manchester and Bristol.

Lee Brimacombe, who co-owns the pines surf’n’skate shop, in Haverfordwest, which sponsors several local riders, said the event was great publicity for Pembrokeshire.

“It was fantastic; the amount of people who turned up to support it was absolutely phenomenal.

“It was by far the most spectators I’ve seen at a local competition, and it’s great to see everyone getting involved.”

He added: “Everybody who came down was really impressed; the quality of the park is easily the best in Wales.”

Ian Jennings, consultant with Maverick Industries, who designed the park, said he was thrilled to see how popular it has become.

“It’s amazing, one of the best projects we’ve been involved with. We’re stoked to work with the local community, and seeing how much local skaters have progressed since it opened proves the benefits of the facility too,” he said.