This is obviously one of the biggest problems with the provision of skateparks in Ireland . It's nearly impossible to get insurance for a private park , allready causing one skatepark to close and preventing the establishment of new parks. This puts futher pressures on public authorities to build parks, as they have in the past said basically no we won't build a public park but we will aid the development of private parks! This excuse is no longer viable.
The other problem is that all public bodies apart from those in Cork are tied to one insurance provider and they are quoting 25,000euros a year premium with a 300,000 excess! They are also stipulating that any park must be fenced off and fully supervised with helmet and full pads worn by participants. Obviously this is not what skaters want!
Anyway heres a few ideas for ways to get around the problem.
1: Organise a network of local clubs under the umbrella of a national association. As a member of a club you cannot sue the club. Their are additional means of legal protection from being sued that the national association could take but I wont go into that here. Basically this would mean that we would not need insurance but that if you ended up in a wheelchair from skating one of the organisations parks you get no big payout to support you and are financhially screwed. That risk must be accepted with membership of the association. Then we need land and money to build parks. Money I don't see as being a big problem as there's numerous avenues for funding as well as corporate sponsorship. Every company under the sun seems to want to jump aboard the "extreme" bandwagon. The land is more of a problem as the association would more than likely have to own the land. Any lease or rental agreement might put the landlord at risk of being sued in the event of an accidaent. If the association can buy land from county councils (at a very low price). The catch with this is that councils may be unwilling to sell us land cheap because once we own the deeds to the land we could turn around and sell it at a huge profit. To prevent this if the land was granted planning permission for a skatepark and no other use then we could not sell it on as it's preety much impossible to insure a private skatepark.
2: Insure on an individual basis. Take out a personal accident and injury policy on each individual member. Allthough some holiday insurance policies do cover skating Bmx and blading ,I have yet to find a suitable policy.
3:Self insurance. Privide our own insurance possibly including private parks too. A cut of each membership fee goes towards a slush fund to pay out any claims from.
Right anyone else got any ideas or info they'd like to add?
The first idea is very sound. Skaters and bikers know the risks they're taking. If you fall down and bust your knee, you don't sue the bike company for making a vehicle which 'promotes dangerous activity', but then that's common sense. And common sense rarely prevails. I think self-insure is a no-no. Can't be done. One serious accident, and your insurance is pulled, and the whole thing goes down the drain.
Per-rider insure is a good idea, especially when used in conjunction with a club. Some sort of Irish Skatepark Federation, of which clubs then get involved. To be a member of the Irish Skatepark Federation (I'll call it ISF), a person must be part of a club, and be over 18. Over 16's need parental permission. It's tough, especially since it would be nice to allow young starting out riders to take part, but perhaps they could be allowed somehow, under stricter rules (parental supervision at all times perhaps).
Maybe a deal could be worked out with BUPA or the VHI. Each member pays a yearly due, and in that all activity within any property owned by the ISF is covered. To gain access to any skatepark, a person must have membership, regardless of whether they're riding, spectating, working, etc. Like the IFC, membership could be gained at the door for that day only, for a small fee.
The membership document would need to be heavily checked out with solicitors, because if a loophole of a constitutional overruling exists that allows someone to sue, someone will do it. Basically you'd want people to sign their life away. Lose all of their rights to sue the ISF regardless of any injury that occurs on the property, blah blah blah.
To gain access to a skatepark, a person needs both a membership card and photo I.D. (and maybe a signing of a secondary waiver at the door, to catch anyone who slips through the net).
As you've probably gathered, IMO, the skatepark cannot be sued. If it is sued, it's ****ed. The only other way is to go self-insure and charge exorbitent prices at the door. Depending on interest, this could be as high as €25. And when I was 16, €25 was a new pair of pedals or pegs, and there's no way I would have paid that in anywhere.
hmm i rock climb and i gues becuase its such an age old and establish sport insurance hasn't been that big an issue in some ways well , not as muc of a non-starter as it is with skateboarding
most climbers have insurance with irish mountaineering council a national body you pay 30 euro a year 2e if you join through a college club
there must be good comparison i sure this is how you'll do it as well
i mean when you or the council talk about parks having constant supervision etc, what about climbers we clim in national parks and and the like i climb regualrily in dalkey quarry in dublin oh i guesss thats is inside a national park (is the criteria for less strict insurance) ?
just rambling is there a comparison
whats wrong with a 'skate at your own risk' sign??
Afaik, any private building that allows the public access has to have some sort of public liability insurance.
A sign saying "Skate at your own risk", will then maybe protect you, but you still have to get the insurance. afaik.
then the guards get involved and screw the whole thing up worse then it already is. and if you organise an event in a public place and someone is hurt there's a chance they'll saw "oi, that was your fault! see you in court"...
If it's public, the Government are liable, and so will litter the place with 'no skateboarding or having fun of any kind in this park' signs, and the Gardai become a hassle...
i say we make everyone sign a waver confirming that they skate at their own risk and will not make a claim if they hurt themselves, it should work but greedy iris people who already have too much money will probobly find a way around it
like my sig says, im living in a little town called lindau in the south of germany. even this place has a skatepark! i couldnt believe it when i saw it. especially cos i left my deck at home. (tis okay now, got it brought over for me).
i have done a bit of travelling and everywhere i go i see public skateparks. everybody knows that there are loads in canada, france, spain and germany. and im sure theres plenty in other countries.
now, a lot of the lads that i see skating in lindau are either experienced or unexperienced and wearing safety gear. i dont think that even kids in ireland would wear safety gear. so i guess that there would be quite a high chance of injury to start with.
but im sure that people still get injured in all these european skateparks despite the safety gear. how do they deal with this sort of thing. it must be the case that there is just no way to hold the government libel. so is there no way that a law could be passed to allow public skateparks where it really is skate at your own risk?
i think that a lot of the lads in lindau would be foobared without the skatepark as there is little else to do in this small town.
oh, and its a real nice little park! im shoping for a dig cam. if i get one ill post a pic.
in cork our skate park was closed cos the insurance was too high so when we went bout getting a new park all hell broke loose.
the coucil dedicated a part of a public park and were gonna put ramps etc up for us but then the came back and told us the "at ur own risk" signs were worth nothing and if 1 person claimed they would stop it all. so now its all stopped cos if it goes ahead with just that then the day it opens some scob will deliberately come down and fall then sue................ trying to sort it all out at the mo...... any ideas???
i have no idea how to sort this out tox angel. i really dont think there is much that you can do. i guess the only thing is to build your own private park and only let your mates in. tis probably the only way. i know its not a practical solution, sorry... :dunno:
They do the councils have to pay public liability aswell.
Its very unfortunate that skateparks are closing down due to insurance it was the same when i skated 10 years ago and as far as i know the lads trying to set up a park in Newbridge are having the same problem
insurance was the main problem of the lucan skate park campaign
Insurance is more of an excuse than a reason. Local authority public skateparks have already been built and insured without any problems and at affordable rates. It's just a good excuse for councils to come out with when they want to fob off skaters seeking facilities. All council facilities are insured through Irish Public Bodies Mutual Ltd with the exception of Cork. They will not insure private commercial parks but do insure the waterford and galway parks and will be insuring the bushy park and lucan parks and hopefully many other council parks. Most parks will probably be run through a club format as this further limits the councils liability risk. This is why if you want a park in your area forming a skate club is a damn good idea.