Friday 7 September 2012

SX Urban Games, Saffron Walden

"SX Urban Games, an opportunity for young people to compete in and watch demonstrations in a range of Urban activities at skate parks all over Essex, and as part of the Olympic initiative"

Sunday 2nd September found me tasked to a shoot at the One Minet Skate Park in Saffron Walden where skateboards, bmx and scooters had come together to use the highly regarded facilities at the park. From youngsters on their first board to pro skaters, all mixed together in a way that wouldn't be found in any other sport. The atmosphere was alive with exhibitions and demonstrations and there was an overwhelming feel that this was a cordial and safe event. Rules of use were respected and adhered to, making it one of the most family friendly events I have attended in a long while. It was amazing to watch the developing skills, the honed skills and the almost blatant disregard for caution when it came to the potential risk of injury. Indeed, tears were not something I saw during my time amongst these active youngsters.
(It is just a pity that those youngsters who could most benefit from activity of this sort, can be the ones who fail to become involved and end up being the minority to abuse these world-class facilites. Sadly, such antisocial behaviour during the current summer break appears to have impacted on what was finally allowed to go ahead at this event.)

Regardless, all that I spoke to agreed that the skate park is one of the best in the country and most are prepared to travel many miles to regularly use the facility. From Lincolnshire to London, Hertfordshire to Suffolk, I met, chatted to and photographed these skaters in action. A selection of images follow.

Sam Jiggins aged 17 performs a scooter backflip

Pro skater Mark Munson

 Further pictures can be found at Saffron Walden Reporter

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