A GROUP of skateboarders have set the wheels in motion for a skatepark on the Greenwich peninsula.

Stuart Hopper, 32, of Tewson Road, Plumstead, and seven others have joined forces to try and get a park in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Hopper said: “We need free facilities like this to give young people something focus on. If we don't provide these facilities youths will find other, less positive pastimes.”

A keen skateboarder since he was a teenager, Mr Hopper says the sport changed his life.

He said: “At the time we didn't have anything to do. We had little money, so we were getting into mischief which could easily have continued into adulthood.

“I found skateboarding gave me something to focus my energy on and it didn't cost much. I took a very different path than I otherwise would have I think.“

But Mr Hopper says he is frustrated that other facilities in places like Dartford and Bexleyheath are aimed only at youngsters and ignore the many adults who are interested in skateboarding.

The web designer explained: “You talk to any young skater and they want to skate with the older skaters - because those are the riders they are watching, and questioning, and learning from.”

He and other members of the cooperative are looking for sites and investigating possible funding.

Mr Hopper said: “We know what we want. There are some amazing parks being built at the moment to take inspiration from.”

For more information visit greenwichskatepark.org/