Roll up for the huge community event billed as ‘the Olympic Games for the youth of today’

HUNDREDS of youngsters are expected to descend on Saffron Walden’s skate park next month for a huge community event billed as “the Olympic Games for the youth of today”.

Skateboarders, BMXers and rollerbladers from across the district and beyond are coming to town for the SX Urban Games – an event aimed at creating a lasting legacy for London 2012.

But it is not just about the skate park.

Families and children of all ages have been urged to go along to the fun-filled spectacular and get a taste of different sports that could feature in Olympics to come.

The event is being run in partnership with the Lord Butler Leisure Centre and everyone will be given a free membership pass to use its facilities on the day – with activities such as trampolining, carpet bowls and street dancing all part of the festivities.

But it is the town’s youngsters who have taken ownership of “their big moment in the spotlight” and are now keen to show off what they believe is “a fantastic facility for young people in Saffron Walden”.

One of the organisers is 17-year-old Bradley Howe, of Howard Road, Saffron Walden.

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He told the Reporter how the day was about young people being able to promote what is important to them and inviting the whole town to join in.

“The Games is not just about one generation – it is about bringing the community together to celebrate and we’re hoping for a really big turnout,” he said.

“When we held the SKOPERA event earlier in the year we had no idea it would draw so many people. There were hundreds who turned up then and we’re expecting just as many, if not more, for the Urban Games.”

The keen skateboarder also said it gave the youngsters who use the facility the opportunity to show everybody “the real side of the skate park”.

“We have been getting a bit of bad press recently but a lot of it is unfair. If people come and see what the park is all about, have a chat with us and enjoy the day, we hope they will see how we’re all one big family up here.

“The Urban Games is the Olympic Games for the youth of today and will reflect what this generation like getting involved in. Some of the sporting activities may even be part of the Olympics in years to come.”

Activities on the day include a VW Camper Van show in the car park, face painting, skateboard decorating, a selection of art from the Urban Picnic photo gallery on the high street and a gazebo with a barbeque.

There will also be a cycle trail around the town beginning at 10.30am. Each team must answer all the questions on the 5km trail and prizes will be given to the winners.

Essex County Council has provided a grant for the project – which is one of 16 events across the county this year – although it has been organised primarily by members of Saffron Walden Skate Group and its secretary, Jane Clarke.

She added: “All the members of the group have worked together to put on this event and that is how it should be – it is for the whole community to enjoy so come and join us!”

The main event kicks off at One Minet Skate Park at 12noon on Sunday September 2 and runs until 7pm.