Bunyip boys’ pipe dreams

Clancy and Lenny are keen to see a skate park built in Bunyip and have started a petition to get the wheels rolling. Pics: STEWART CHAMBERS 253285_06

By Gabriella Payne

Two ingenious school boys from Bunyip are proving that you’re never too young to dream big and make things happen.

With more time at home on their hands thanks to remote learning and Victoria’s ongoing lockdowns, good mates Clancy Cunningham (11) and Lenny Clark (10) have been having a blast getting out and about on their scooters, like many other local kids.

Living in a small town, the boys were constantly asking their parents to drive them up to the Garfield skatepark, when one day, an idea dawned on them… why not build one in Bunyip?

Hoping to get some momentum behind their idea, Clancy and Lenny started door-knocking in their local area, gathering signatures on a hand-written petition they set up themselves.

Now, with a little help from their parents to get the petition up online, hundreds of signatures have started pouring in for the Bunyip skatepark idea.

Clancy’s dad, Ben Cunningham, said that the boys were thrilled to see the community supporting their initiative.

“It all just took off very quickly,” Ben said.

“The boys can’t believe it themselves – within 24 hours they had well over 200 signatures, the support has just been great.”

The petition has now gained over 400 signatures and many community members have shared their praise, stating that the skatepark would be a great addition to the town.

“Clancy and Lenny put a lot of time and effort into the petition, coming up with drawings and writing their idea down together, so we thought we’d have a crack at it online and the response has been amazing,” Ben said.

“A lot of the comments on the petition have been from parents saying it would be a great way for kids to get off devices and be out there a bit more, and one guy said when he was a kid he had tried to do the same thing, so it would be really cool 25 years on if it did actually happen – especially with Bunyip getting bigger.”

Clancy and Lenny both go to different primary schools but during lockdown, have had a lot of fun getting together and going for bike and scooter rides – and they think that a new skatepark would be a great way to bring all the kids in the town together.

“We have made a design and we were planning on putting it in the reserve between Main Street, Bunyip and the Bunyip Train Station car park,” the boys wrote in their petition description.

“This will make it more accessible to the public and will be built for scooters, bikes, skateboards, etc… we think this will help families with kids who want to access a skatepark close to home.”

Ben said that it had been amazing to see the boys’ “imagination” and perseverance and as a father, he was incredibly proud of their efforts so far.

Clancy and Lenny are hoping to get as many signatures as they can so that they can take the next step and promote the idea to the Cardinia Shire Council.

“If we can support them in some small way then that’s great – even if it doesn’t come to fruition, at least they will learn a lot from this experience,” Ben said.

“But we’re very hopeful!”

To get behind this idea and add your name to the petition, head to https://www.change.org/p/cardinia-shire-council-installation-of-a-skatepark-in-bunyip