Urban Games Hit Newcastle City Centre

17 August 2012, 05:00

Urban Games 2012, the largest festival of urban sports and arts in Northern England, is in Newcastle this weekend.

Newcastle's city centre will transform into an outdoor playground for street, break dance, MC'ing and rap battles and a venue for DJ'ing, BMX'ing, skateboarding and Parkour (Free Running) contests.

The competitions and performances are being held at the Discovery Museum, in Times Square near the Centre for Life and at the city's iconic Monument on Grey Street, from August 17th-19th.

Now in its third year, the Urban Games 2012 was officially launched at Newcastle's Discovery Museum last month with a series of exclusive preview performances by North East Parkour team Apeuro Free Running and local rapper Misz Tee Begum.

Check out the video of dancer B-Boy Mowshun from Consett doing some urban dancing:

The Urban Games started in 2009 because teenagers in North East England felt that Britain being awarded the London 2012 Olympics meant nothing to them and would have little or no impact on their lives.

Newcastle based youth development charity Solar Learning Services CIC responded by deciding to set-up an alternative Olympic style sports event celebrating the art forms that young people were genuinely passionate about.

Since then it has grown from a small gathering held at Sage Gateshead on Newcastle's famous Quayside to attracting 300 competitors and more than 8000 spectators to Whitley Bay in 2011.

Michael Evans, managing director of organisers Solar Learning, said:
"The Urban Games has grown rapidly and is now the biggest gathering of urban artists in the North of England. If you are passionate about dance, music, DJ-ing and non-mainstream sports like skateboarding, BMX and Parkour then Newcastle is the place to be this summer.

This year's festival will be bigger and better than before."

Despite the idea for the festival coming from young people's lack of connection with the Olympics, the event has attracted funding from NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK programme for the North East; creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. Urban Games is one of 15 projects in the region receiving funding totalling £1m from NE-Generation, as part of the national celebrations of the Cultural Olympiad.

For more details about the Urban Games 2012 check out their website HERE

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