Official tribute to skateboarder Jamie is backed

A SKATE park created with money raised in memory of a Mangotsfield teenager could soon be officially renamed after him – 12 years after it was built.

Jamie Clapp was only 13 when he was killed in a plane crash in 2007.

His father Gordon wanted a lasting memorial to his son, who loved skateboarding and BMX riding, and with Jamie’s friends he campaigned to secure £100,000 from local councillors, South Gloucestershire Council and the Big Lottery Fund’s Peoples Millions partnership.

The skate park opened in 2011 and Gordon still regularly visits, holding a get-together with Jamie’s friends each year around the anniversary of his death on July 3.

The fundraisers always assumed the park had been officially named after Jamie – signs at the site call it the ‘Jamie Lee Clapp Memorial Skatepark’.

But when the council confirmed plans to transform the area around the skatepark last year, as part of its Linking the Greens project to improve Emersons Green and Lyde Green, it emerged that Jamie is not recognised in its official registered name, Emersons Green Skate Park.

The council says the name could be changed, and this has moved a step closer after all three of the ward councillors who represent Emersons Green supported the idea.

The ward’s new Labour councillors, Katrina Al-Hassan and Ron Hardie, said: “Ron and I would be happy to support the name change of the skate park.

“Gordon has campaigned for a long time to make it a really nice space for kids in the community, and having the official name for his son will be a lovely way to remember Jamie.”

Conservative ward councillor Rachael Hunt said: “I’d be delighted to support the bid to have the skate park officially named after Jamie.

“It would be a fitting tribute to his memory and I will take it up with council officers at the earliest opportunity.”

Gordon, who is gravely ill with oesophageal cancer, joined with more than 20 of Jamie’s friends at the park to remember him, weeks before what would have been his 30th birthday.

Gordon said: “The park was built in memory of my son and it’s got to say the name, that’s why we raised the money.

“I’m glad it’s being appreciated and the councillors have agreed to do the right thing.

“It’s nice to know that after all these years, Jamie is still respected and loved by his friends – it does still make me cry.”