AN organiser of Swindon’s biggest extreme sport event is campaigning for more skating facilities to be available around the town.

Diana Kirk has hosted the Urban Rider Games at the ATB Shop for the last five years to offer a fun free family day out with competitions and demonstrations that people of all ages and abilities can try. The event is organised by a committee which aims to highlight the need to preserve the town’s skate area at the Oasis and build a new skate park to help keep young people out of trouble.

Diana said: “We’ve been campaigning for years because skate parks offer a free and fun outlet for youths but there’s not much out there for them like that so they get bored and turn instead to antisocial behaviour and vandalism.

“Events like this give the community a voice and brings them together, it's a really great day and hopefully it can make a difference.

“Our campaigning does seem to fall on deaf ears, unfortunately. Justin Tomlinson MP came to the games a couple of years ago, shook some hands, took some photos, left and didn’t do anything about the skate park issue. We want councillors and MPs to be interested in it and this event and not just treat it as a photo op, though I appreciate that local councils have been hit by a lot of budget cuts.”

The next Urban Rider Games returns to the Hawksworth Industrial Estate on Good Friday, April 19 with a jam-packed day of events and competitive categories for scooter riders, BMXers and skateboarders from 10am to 10.30pm.

Registration is open until midday, then skateboarding and scooter-riding stars including mountain-board world champion Matt Brind will decide the deserving winners of prizes worth a total of £5,000 - including a top-of-the-range Go Pro camera.

Diana added: "I'm really excited, we're still getting boxes of prizes delivered to the shop, it's like Christmas every day. Two local lads Justin Smythe and Ben Gregory will do a brilliant graffiti workshop to show how they can turn their skateboards and scooters into art projects instead of spray-painting walls.The more highly-skilled competitions will start after 3pm

"Blunt Scooters asked us out of the blue to be our main sponsor after they heard about the event and wanted to support it, which is great because the shop receives no revenue, it's a loss leader, so having sponsors to cover the costs of making banners and hundreds of free T-shirts is really appreciated."

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