Skater event organisers call for improved facilities

By Ben Fitzgerald - 28 March 2019

CommunityFamilyClubs & Activities

Organisers of an annual skating competition have called for improved facilities for young enthusiasts of the sport.

This year's Urban Rider Games - taking place on April 19 - marks five years of campaigning for better free skate facilities in Swindon and up and down the UK. 

Diana Kirk, one of the owners of Swindon's ATBShop, says that cuts to youth services have lead to an increase in crime and anti social behaviour. 

She is backing a campaign calling on the council to build facilities for young skaters to use.

 The Urban Riders - a group of local Swindon extreme sports campaigners, have been campaigning for more than 10 years to save the free outdoor skate park at the Oasis Leisure Centre and have it revamped for future generations. 

For the last five years the campaigners have upped their game from a petition, signed by the likes of pro-skater Tony Hawk to hosting one of the biggest extreme sports events in the UK. 

Each year on Good Friday hundreds of extreme sports fans head to ATBShop's indoor skate park on Hawksworth industrial estate. 

ATBShop opens its indoor skate park for the use of the games for free.

Diana said that the outdoor parks in Swindon are unsuitable for such an event.

She said: "I know first hand how upset parishes get when other people use their facilities from other areas, however there's just nothing suitable in Swindon which even comes close.

 "We believe that the Oasis site must be saved.

"We shall also have top UK and international judges like Matt Brind, 9 times UK and World Mountainboard Champion and former Nitro Circus Star down on the day.

"There will also be Long Boarding action from the Oxford based Roots long boarding team."

The event will start at noon 19 April and will run on until 10.30pm. 

Spectators are welcome to come along and watch.

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