Gunalda skater boy attempts big jump
Sometimes persistence and patience is all it takes for an idea to get off the ground, and Gunalda skater boy Wyatt Forsyth has shown both in abundance.
The 10-year-old Victory College student's passion for scootering led him to follow in older brother Lucas's footsteps when he took it upon himself to campaign for a skate park behind the playground at Gunalda Park.
While his Mum recovered from recent surgery at the family home, Wyatt decided he'd write to Gympie Regional Council explaining his proposal, before jumping online and searching council's address so he could post the letter independently.
It was in the process of mailing the letter that he grabbed the attention of local shop owner Tom Thrupp, who then joined Wyatt in his quest by helping him set up a petition for the skate park.
Wyatt has since collected more than seven A4 pages full of signatures from people in support of his initiative, and he's not done yet.
"We'll send it when we get enough pages,” he said.
"My brother tried it a couple of years ago and got no response, so I got sick of just riding around here and I thought we needed something so I googled up where the council was and I wrote a letter and sent it.
"We wouldn't mind a fishbowl ... we want a couple of ramps and a grind bar and something to keep us busy.
"Something's better than nothing.”
Wyatt said he had also impressed a council worker, who rang him up and told him she'd help get his message across.
"I don't remember her name, but she said she enjoyed reading the letter and would send it to the planning people, then I told her about the petition and she told me we'd most likely get it.
"With what we've done now, what we're doing, I think we'll get it.”
The youth's mother Sam said she was proud of her son's determination.
"He did his whole letter while I was laid up in bed, googled the address, mailed the letter,” Ms Forsyth said.
"I didn't think anything would come of it.
"The friendly grocers set up a table for him, and he was hitting everyone up as they got out of their cars to get their Sunday papers.
"They were even talking about doing a sausage sizzle here to raise money for it.”
Ms Forsyth said a skate park would increase the safety of kids like Wyatt riding around Gunalda.
"It would be safer, there's nothing here for any other kids, there's nothing for the older kids.
"There's nothing at Glenwood, there's nothing at Curra, Tiaro has a skate park.
"If Tiaro can get one, surely we can.”
Wyatt agreed, saying the location was "the perfect place” for a skate park.
"There's a pub here that serves hot chips and take-aways, so you could get some lunch and have some picnic areas for parents.
"It's better than all these cars coming around the corner and going really fast and something could go wrong.”
If you're around Gunalda, help Wyatt on his quest by signing his petition at the Friendly Grocer across from the park.