Ramping it up for Peace SK8 Xpo event flies high

On Wed 30th Oct 2013 in the Amphitheatre Leisure Centre, approximately 500 people gathered including adults, families and young people for Carrickfergus Borough Council’s SK8 Urban Expo event. According to Fiona Surgenor, Carrickfergus Borough Council Good Relations Officer, “the SK8 XPO event was a great success for Carrickfergus on many fronts. It brought young people together with a common interest and friendships were formed. We saw young people helping their peers take their first steps into the world of urban sports through skateboarding, BMXing, scootering, free running/parkour, and art. The event was also significant in building relationships between the Council and the youth of the Borough. Council acknowledge the positive contribution and vibrancy that young people bring and this event helped to illustrate the interest of young people in Council. The involvement of the Carrickfergus Junior Councillors in the organisation and delivery of the event demonstrated Council’s support for young people and the importance of having them involved in how the Borough is run. The event celebrated the conclusion of a fantastic urban art project focussing on anti-racism and commonalities between people from different cultures. The artwork unveiled at the event was very well received and will be installed in the Carrickfergus Skate Park. The piece called “Skate Not Hate” combined the iconic Carrickfergus Castle and Harbour with the mark of the young people. It is hoped that this work can continue with the young urban sports men and women from the Borough and offer them the opportunity to become mentors and coaches for those coming after them. This project was not only about urban sports and culture, it was about recognising the strengths and talents of our young people, encouraging them to express themselves in positive ways, and highlighting their total commitment to promoting Carrickfergus as THE place to be. Beverley Todd, Mapping Meaningful Solutions Officer and CAN Peace III funding representative stated “congratulations to the young people who took part in the Urban Arts programme and the Youth Council for their hard work on the progarmme and at the event. Thank you to Phil Glennon of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum for facilitating the programme, it was a huge success. Thanks also to T13 for a great event, those attending thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and demonstrations. Finally thank you to Carrickfergus Borough Council for their support in the programme and additional funding, it was a fantastic opportunity to show case the positive use of the Skate Park and promote the Amphitheatre and young people who make use of both facilities. A great advocate for SK8 Not H8”. Phil Glennon of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum said “this event was a great success for the wider Borough. Not only did it provide an opportunity to showcase the talent of young people in the area, it sent out a positive message about the young people in the Borough. All too often young people in society are being stereotyped and labelled in negative contexts, we need to address this issue much more and advocate for young people in a positive light. That’s what this event was all about, using sport as a medium to promote participation and new experiences as well as art as a medium to foster creativity and expression. By working in partnership with various organisations and agencies, the community pulled together to produce a wonderful, vibrant and energetic event. A big congratulations to all involved but more importantly, to the young people who worked very hard in the Detached Youth Programme”.