“Water wakeboard that will be!”

Garry Smith
Garry Smith

A BURNLEY old boy who now works as a waterski coach in Cyprus says a new facility planned for Rowley Lake should be welcomed.

Mr Garry Smith, who teaches voluntarily at RAF Akrotiri on the island, wrote to the Express to share his dismay about the negative reaction from some readers about a wakeboarding facility planned for the lake in Pike Hill.

He said: “I’ve been following the proposed development of a wakeboarding facility at Rowley Lake and it’s clear from some of the letters that many readers don’t really understand the sport and the proposed facility.

“I’ve been a waterskier and wakeboarder for more than 20 years and am now a British Waterski Federation Coach teaching voluntarily at RAF Akrotiri.

“The recent letter from Jean Wilson prompted me to write and I would like to answer some of her points. The cable system that will be used at Rowley will not wreck the peace and quiet as the machinery is very quiet.

“In addition, the towers are relatively small and I understand that the buildings will be very sympathetic to the surroundings. The machinery will only run when the cable-tow is open which would not be every hour of the day. A simple wetsuit can be bought for less than £100 and they will most likely be available as part of the price which is the case at most centres. The system will not affect the fish stocks in the lake in any way.”

Mr Smith, who was born and raised in Burnley, has lived overseas for more than a decade, but still returns to the town regularly to visit his family.

“What I see when I return to Burnley is a town that is crying out for something new to offer the young people of the area.

“I’ve taught dozens of children of service personnel at RAF Akrotiri and seen the children benefit hugely from the confidence that this sport can impart.

“Would their time be better spent playing computer games?”