Clubs take sports to extreme levels in Melksham
Youngsters had a taste of white-knuckle thrills when new Wiltshire Xtreme Sports Clubs were launched at the Christie Miller Sports Centre in Melksham.
Students from Melksham Oak Community School were shown some daring moves by local skateboarder James Threlfall and Salisbury freerunner Mike Young to highlight the start of the eight new clubs.
Each club will offer young people the opportunity to take part in a range of extreme sports.
The clubs – in Trowbridge, Warminster, Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Pewsey, Tidworth, Calne and Salis-bury – are being provided by Wiltshire Council and national sporting charity Street Games.
The official launch was held last Thursday.
Stuart Wheeler, the council’s cabinet member for transformation, culture, leisure and libraries, said: “The Wiltshire Xtreme project operates by providing alternative sport programmes and also enabling and supporting young people to develop and run their own programmes.
“For those young people that do not engage in mainstream team sports, alternative sport can offer opportunities to bring them together, where they can forge relationships and create their own sporting community.”
The county’s eight clubs will offer a range of activities, including skateboarding, parkour or freerunning, dodgeball, mountain biking, power-kiting and kayaking.
Sporting charity Street Games runs programmes across the country to encourage young people to engage with alternative sports.
South West zone manager Maggy Blagrove said: “It’s great to see things like this happening outside the bigger urban areas, as young people here have just the same interests, but don’t have the same opportunities to get involved.
“It’s run from the bottom up, so it’s empowering for communities.
“Anyone can get things going and gain extra qualifications and experience.”
As well as the regular sports clubs, the Wiltshire Xtreme programme will also be covering the Wiltshire Skate Series, which is now in its third year, and the annual X Games alternative sports festival.
Cllr Wheeler said: “We’ve been promoting alternative sports for three years.
“The idea is to get to the people who are not participating in the more traditional team games and promote something that appeals to a wider audience.
“Our job is to get people participating in regular physical activity and this is a great way to do it, as this is what the kids are calling for.”
For more information on the eight clubs that have ben set up across Wiltshire, visit the website www.wiltshire.