László Papp called the DebEx park, handed over on March 18th near the Ice Arena in Debrecen, a gap-filling investment. The mayor of Debrecen said that it has been planned for decades to give the people of Debrecen an opportunity for extreme sports. The project was realized with HUF 600 million, of which the bike tease cost HUF 130 million. László Papp noted that a noise protection wall will probably be needed, because apartment buildings have been built near the park, on the other side of the Tócó.
Máriusz Révész, the government commissioner responsible for the development and popularization of cycling and active recreation, spoke at the opening about the increasing number of overweight children in Hungary – despite daily physical education. He hopes the park will encourage many young people to exercise. In response to Debrecen Nap’s question, Máriusz Révész said on the spot that the increase in the proportion of overweight people is characteristic not only of children, but also of adults. According to the government commissioner, the services of the recently handed over complex must compete with mobile phone games. It is important to show the children that moving is an experience and that it is good to do sports in a community, he said. Active class trips and traveling camps are also supported – we learned from Máriusz Révész.
The government commissioner also provided good news, according to his view, more and more retirees are rollerblading in Hungary, but for the time being, the conscious lifestyle is typical of a narrower stratum, the urban intellectuals. The bigger task will be to reach out to those without higher education as well.
Márta Takács-Kiss, board member of the Hungarian National Roller Skating and Roller Skating Association, praised the decision of the Debrecen municipality to financially support the construction of the rink.
17 million forints were drawn from the National Bicycle Park Program and 30 million forints from the National Skateboarding Program, but this was still not nearly enough to establish DebEx. The remaining costs of the investment were covered by the local government from a TOP tender, which was named “Environmental renewal of the economic revitalization of the Tócóvölgy” According to the business contract, HUF 428 million was obtained from this source.
For comparison, we looked through previous news reports and found that the MX Freestyle track in Böszörmény and the Görpark were built by spending HUF 45 million. Even a priest blessed it. HUF 30 million went to the brick pump track in 2022. The DebEx park is operated by the Debrecen Sports Center. It is only possible to enter by presenting the QR code received by email after registration on the spot. After the opening, the park is open from Monday to Friday from 14:00 to 20:00, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00.
It is free, but registration is required
According to the operators, the park will fill a void that serves to satisfy a long-standing need in the city. Out of necessity, athletes who use different parts of the city – public spaces, parking lots – can find a home here. In addition to the expectations of the population, the emerging area will become suitable for organizing national and even international cycling and skateboarding sports competitions – reads the introduction of the Debrecen Extreme Sports Park.
Who is the Debrecen Extreme Sports Park for?
The following sports can also be found in the park: BMX, trial, dirt jump, skateboard, roller skate. Regarding the structure of the course, it can be said that the individual sections of the course are not separated by a sharp boundary, but form a complex unit, the courses intended for various extreme sports can be used in three levels of difficulty, so the facility also meets the needs of beginners, advanced and professional athletes. In addition to the outdoor courts, there will also be space in the area with the construction of a service-social building complex, washrooms and business premises.
The municipality of Debrecen applied for several funds to create the park designed by the Polish Boniek Falicki.
How did you get to Debrecen? Who was the one who discovered you?
I went on a skateboarding trip to Oradea and Debrecen just to skate, just to see what was going on. I live near Lublin, Poland which is not so far away, it is about 600 km from here, and it is the sister city of Debrecen. So I met Daniel Gutema who’s could have been given a lot of credits for getting this together because he connected me with the city. He connected the city with the local skateboard community. I think everybody should be very grateful to Daniel. He managed to organize the things from the users’ part. He is also the author of the guidelines for this skatepark, so which elements should be in the design. He made a list together with the local skaters about what kind of obstacles they want. They gave this list to me, there were about ten or eleven different elements. I implemented all of them in the design, plus some extra, and now the skatepark is ready, so I am very happy. It is a good project to push the Hungarian skateboarding scene forward. This is going to be a big step for everybody, I think people from Budapest will definitely come here to skate very often. The park is not only big, but very different as far as the level of skating. It is good for both beginners and advanced skaters because who can develop further in the directions of Olympics, skateboarding or professional skateboarding which I really wanted to give to Hungary. I am a big fan of Hungary! I cannot help it, I am from Poland.
How long have you been skateboarding?
I have been skating since 1996 and I have been designing skate parks since 2001.
In which cities did you design skate parks?
For example, in the Netherlands, because I used to live there. And of course I concentrate to Poland, because that is were I live right now. And I designed parks not only in the big cities like Warsaw or Wroclaw, but in the small ones too, like Mielec, Tarnow, Swidnik and many more. This one in Debrecen is my first Hungarian project, and I am really grateful for this opportunity. Everybody is involved in this project, the skateboard association, the city of Debrecen, and the local skaters are represented by Daniel Gutemar. Everybody was trying to solve all the problems that arose, and the best thing is that everybody was very positive about this project, and we wanted to solve every problem together. I think this is the right way to do things, like this we can solve all the problems.
The construction had many phases and sometimes it had to be redesigned, already existing elements had to be rearranged.
Yes, it happened once, in the case of the first element. They put the first pipeline together, but it was not OK, and they had to rebuild it. I was present during the second building process, and turned out good, there are no bumps on the surface, the radius is straight, they should work on it more to make it really perfect, but I think it is very important to look at it as a whole, because these kind of things like skate parks are pretty new to Hungary, and not many people, cities or companies have good experience with them. They don’t know how to solve certain problems. This is why I am here, I am here to help. During this whole project, a lot of people learnt how to solve problems in the future, so their experience and knowledge will be helpful for the whole country. This has definitely been a hard work for all the participants, like the supervision, my supervision here. I thought many things were obvious for everybody, then I came here to Hungary, and realized that all things are obvious for everyone, but I can understand it, because we had the same situation in Poland fifteen years ago, and it was even worse. They had a very bad attitude there, however, people here have so much better attitude, so I think the future looks bright for you. Give it two or three years, and you are going to have a European level quality.
Which is your favorite part here?
I don’t know. I skated it yesterday to test the corrections that have been made, and 80-90 percent of the corrections have been made really well. So my heart felt pretty light. It is fun, it is very diverse, because some things are very low and some things are much higher. It depends on how you feel, what mood you have, and how you want to skate. It is fun!