First-ever World Youth Urban Games skates into Glasgow

More than 1000 of Glasgow’s young people are being encouraged to leap, skate and jump towards a healthier, more active lifestyle as a festival of urban sports gets underway in the city.

More than 1000 of Glasgow’s young people are being encouraged to leap, skate and jump towards a healthier, more active lifestyle as a festival of urban sports gets underway in the city.

National charity SportInspired has partnered with Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and Skateboard Scotland to deliver an innovative pilot programme using the power of urban sports to support the young people of North Glasgow to achieve their full potential, helping to propel the community forward.

The programme of skateboarding, parkour, basketball, street dance and more will provide a transformative experience, building young people’s employability skills and confidence, and helping them to lead healthier and happier lives. It will also help to address the rising obesity levels of deprived areas of Scotland, in the context of more intense calls for decisive action against the obesity epidemic the country is facing.

The 18-month pilot programme will engage all primary and secondary schools in North Glasgow, involving 1,000 primary school participants, taking part in up to 10 urban sports, and 150 secondary school students trained as event directors, senior and young leaders.

“North Glasgow has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years and has attracted major investment from the public, private and third sectors. By getting local young people involved in new and exciting urban sports, as well as giving them leadership opportunities to help with jobs and training, we can really bring this transformation to life.”

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals

The programme, based on SportInspired’s behaviour change methodology, consists of a series of multi-sport festivals, young leader training and mentorship, urban sports clubs set-up in primary schools, and inspirational urban sport tasters hosted by sports stars. The pilot programme will culminate in a local Urban Games event in summer 2018, coinciding with the government’s Year of Young People, attended by 500 primary school programme alumni and run by 100 trained young leaders.

The first of the multi-sport Festivals will take place on 20th June at John Paul Academy – 25 of their S2 students will be the first trained young leaders running the event. They will be supported by 40 volunteers from one of the founding sponsors of the programme, the pensions and investment consultant firm Hymans Robertson, to inspire 180 children from four local primary schools to discover a sport they love. The participants will be introduced to a selection of urban sports including skateboarding, parkour, basketball and street dance by local community sports providers, helping to connect community assets and deliver sustainable impact.

Tracey McBride, Active Schools Coordinator at Glasgow City Council, commented: “The aim of the Active Schools programme is to increase sports and activity opportunities for all children and young people.  The urban sports included in the pilot such as street dance and basketball are extremely popular in Glasgow Schools.  We therefore welcome any programme which offers more opportunities for young people to be active on their own doorstep, in their own communities.

“The role of the S2 students is key to this initiative as leadership is a main theme of the Active Schools programme.  These young people will be trained up to assist with the urban sports and will act as role models as the programme continues over the next 5 years.”

Based on the success of the pilot programme, the partners’ ambition is to deliver a multi-year urban sport-based social development programme, ‘The World Youth Urban Games Community Programme’, which inspires a future generation to work towards an exciting goal, with the skills to achieve it, and reinforces Glasgow’s position of a progressive global city. Funding is still required to ensure the delivery of the ambitious long-term results once the pilot is completed.

Richard Raynes, CEO and founder of SportInspired, explained: “The five-year programme would take the young people of North Glasgow on a journey designed to grow their passion about participating in urban sports and support them in reaping all the benefits associated with it – living healthier, fuller lives with positive goals and aspirations. The programme is anchored in a year-on-year development of young people’s skills, confidence, and experience, preparing them to become leaders in their own community and begin to deliver an annual world-class urban sports event in 2021 – the first-of-their-kind World Youth Urban Games.”

Ali Menzies, Chairman of Skateboard Scotland, said: “The World Youth Urban games and the programme in Glasgow leading up to it will be a great opportunity for the youth of Glasgow to get involved with skateboarding (some for the first time). Skateboarding is a fully inclusive sport which allows people of all ages to keep fit and learn new skills, like perseverance and determination. It is also more importantly, great fun! Skateboard Scotland is fully supportive of this great opportunity for the youth of Scotland.”

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years, said: “An active body encourages an active mind and our schools work very hard to encourage our young people to take part in a wide range of sports and activities and helping to raise attainment and achievement.

“This pilot is an excellent opportunity for our pupils to try urban sports and learn very important leadership skills as well.”

Notes to Editors

About SportInspired

SportInspired is a national charity based in London, but works with people all over the UK. The charity’s vision is of connecting communities, where people enjoy being active. Its mission is to turn the tide of inactivity through fun and inclusive community programmes which bring together local businesses, sports clubs, schools and councils, inspiring new connections, life skills and opportunities. SportInspired started in 2008 and since then, has worked with over 70,000 people across the UK with a strong vision, backed by big ambitions of how to increase and develop further.

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.

As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for bridges, buildings, locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles.

The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visits per year. See for more information.

About Skateboard Scotland

Skateboard Scotland is the official governing body for Skateboarding in Scotland (recognised by Sport Scotland). The organisation is fully run by Scottish skateboarders who are all volunteers. They run various events across the country and provide consultancy on skateboard related topics such as the design of skateparks.

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