An innovative new street league will be launched across Devon and Cornwall aimed at the growing urban sport scene. Street Series South West will feature skateboarding, scootering and freestyle BMX events at facilities across the region next year.
The series will begin at Mount Hawke Skatepark near Truro on 4 January and include events in Saltash’s Junkyard Skatepark, Prime Skatepark in Plymouth and the Lodge Indoor Skatepark in Newton Abbot for young people aged 5 to 21.
The events will bring together the thriving street sports community in a grand prix-style series for the first time ever. The series has been created by the South West Youth Games Trust. The charity’s Chief Executive Chris Broadbent is excited over the series’ prospects.
“For the last two years the Trust has hosted hugely popular standalone Street Sports events as part of our range of wide sport and physical activity programme.” He said. “But this will be the first time we have ever created a series of events focussed on street sports.
“It is difficult to estimate exactly how many people take part in street sports in Devon and Cornwall, as there is very little formal research from sporting bodies. But we know of 65 skateparks across the region.
“We also know that the most prominent facility in the region – Mount Hawke – has around 29,000 people using the venue annually, up 25% on two years ago. And with BMX freestyle and skateboarding becoming part of the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 its profile and appeal is only going to grow.
“From our own wide experience across all sports, we also know that street sports are unique in getting young people from low income backgrounds into regular physical activity.
“Around 19% of our street sports participants are from Devon and Cornwall’s most deprived communities, compared to 6% who take part in our more traditional sports like hockey and rugby. Quite simply, it gets young people off the streets and into regular sport.
“We are really excited over the potential to be ground breaking and innovative with this series, including streaming the events live via social media.”