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Wales’ first Urban Games to takeover Cardiff this weekend

Disgyblion Cardiff West Pupils

Cardiff Bay will be buzzing with excitement this weekend (18 – 19 June) with several World class Urban Games champions taking part in Wales’ first Urban Games event, organised by Welsh youth organisation, Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Roald Dahl Plass will be completely transformed, offering a feast of BMX, Skateboarding, Wheelchair Basketball, Scootering and Breakin’ competitions. Children, young people and pros will be competing and taking part in different categories.

Urdd Chief Executive, Siân Lewis said: “Without a doubt, our Sports Department provides children and young people with invaluable opportunities, with 11,000 participating in 300 of our weekly sports clubs. Urban sports are growing in popularity and are now part of the Olympic Games, so it’s vital that our children and young people have an opportunity to experience and develop their skills in these sports. It’s a great time for us to be launching this brand-new event during our centenary year and it will be a special experience for our youngsters to compete side by side with some of the best in the world.

“The Urban Games is another highlight in the Urdd’s sporting events calendar, one that we are proud to be delivering alongside our partners, which we hope will inspire the next generation of world champions. It’s important to us as an organisation to continue to experiment, evolve and innovate, offering as many opportunities as we can to the young people of Wales.”

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden will attend the event on Saturday, added; “I’m delighted the Welsh Government has been able to support the Urdd’s Urban Games. It promises to be an exciting weekend of events and an opportunity for young people to try new activities and showcase their talents alongside some champions in the field. I would like to thank Siân, Gary and the rest of the team for organising this fantastic event and wish them well.”

Jordan Sharkey from Wrexham is a young Welshman who has achieved international success in skateboarding. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation and is very excited to be one of the Urdd Urban Games ambassadors.

“I’m passionate about helping children and young people,” says Jordan Sharkey. “There were no opportunities to develop when I was younger, which is what has driven me to establish my own skateboarding school. People said it was not possible to have a career in this field, but I’ve proved them wrong. It’s important for young people to know that it’s possible to have a career in doing what you love and it’s also a great way to keep fit. I’m very grateful to the Urdd for giving these sports such a great platform and I can’t wait to be there competing and sharing my skills.”

As well as the exciting competitions, there will be opportunities to enjoy free taster sessions in the various sports, as well as graffiti, street art, DJ and radio sessions. All lead by stars of the scene, and completely free. 

James Jones is a BMX champion from Swansea, and will be leading the BMX taster sessions as well as judging:

“I’ve had some great opportunities throughout my BMX career; from competing in countries such as Tokyo and Dubai to taking part in Formula 1 shows, TV commercials and performing in panto with Bradley Walsh. I want to inspire young people in Wales to pressure their BMX dreams. The Urdd Urban Games are a great opportunity to showcase that the Welsh are succeeding internationally at a range of sports, not just the traditional football and rugby. I can’t wait to be there.”

Mathew Pritchard

Skateboard star, Mathew Pritchard from Cardiff is a familiar face on the big screen, and has travelled the world competing and showing his talents in his acclaimed TV series ‘Dirty Sanchez’:

“My skateboarding journey started on the streets of Roath, and it has taken me to every corner of the world proving that these sports open so many doors. The Urdd has organised such an exciting event, where children and pros will share a stage here in Cardiff – in the city I love! I encourage everyone of all ages to come down to the Bay to enjoy, marvel at the skills and have a go. This is a new and exciting initiative for the Urdd and a great opportunity for our young people. I can’t wait to be there on my skateboard sharing my skills and seeing the kids and pro’s having fun together in our Capital City.”

For those who can’t be there, the Urdd has teamed up with Ogi – a broadband company from Wales, which will enable everyone to enjoy the Urban Games via a live streaming service. This will be broadcast by Cardiff Metropolitan University students.

Justin Leese, Chief Technology and Operations Manager at Ogi, says: “The Urdd has been providing the young people of Wales with amazing opportunities for generations, and during its centenary year of celebrations it is our pleasure at Ogi to establish this technological partnership with them to enable people to enjoy the excitement of the Urban Games, wherever they are in the world. We’re looking forward to the event and to sharing it with global audiences.”