Sparta skaters: Park needs upgrades

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Two middle schoolers are heading a fundraising campaign to improve the Sparta skatepark

By Molly Haines

Sparta residents Colton Matt and Logan Bailey have skateboarded together for five years. Now, the two are looking to share that passion.

The Maurice Bowling Middle School students, both 12, are fund raising for concrete and equipment to improve the skate park in Sparta.

The Sparta city park has one piece of equipment, but Matt said he and Bailey both would like to see the site expanded.

“There’s not enough room there for a bunch of people to skate,” Matt said. “We’ve started raising money to try and get a better skate park at the city park.”

Matt said he and Bailey have placed jars in Sparta businesses to help raise money and an event is planned for Oct. 16 at the Sparta city park.

Matt’s mother, Darlene, is also helping the two in the fund-raising process.

“Owen County and Gallatin County both have really great skate parks,” she said. “But in Sparta, there’s not a lot for the kids to do and there’s nowhere for them to go. A lot of the kids are skating out on the street in Sparta and having the police called on them. If the kids had somewhere to skate they would be off the street and out of trouble.”

The two tweens have approached the Sparta city commission for help.

“They said we could do fund-raisers and we asked them if they would match our profit,” Colton Matt said. “They told us they would do something.”

Darlene Matt said she’s happy her son is getting involved in the community.

“I think it’s really good for them to get involved and see how everything works,” she said.

Colton Matt and Bailey both agreed they have learned a lot of “stuff” about politics by attending the Sparta city commission meetings.

“Maybe one day they’ll want to run for mayor, governor or even president,” Darlene Matt said.

The two said they thought it would take a year or two to raise enough money for the skate park of their dreams.