Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Urban sports makes waves at shipyard

Described as ‘the most insane alternative playground’, T13, a new indoor park that houses adrenaline induced action sports is keen on getting everyone in the city and beyond involved.

Lord Mayor Councillor Pat Convery visited last week to see for himself the urban culture craze that is reaching out to the community “in more ways than one”.

He was joined by 50 children from two north Belfast primary schools — Cliftonville Integrated PS and Edmund Rice PS — who had taken part in some of the taster sessions taking place at T13’s huge warehouse in the Titanic Quarter — directly under Harland & Wolff’s cranes.

Liam Lynch, manager of T13 skate park told the Community Telegraph: “We hope the taster sessions have encouraged local schools, youth and community groups to learn new skills, techniques and safety surrounding the whole genre of urban sports, from BMX, skate boarding, inline skates and beyond.

“So much is happening underneath this warehouse roof we don’t want anyone to miss out!

“This is the very first venue of its type in Ireland.

“It features a 12,000sqft bike jump room and a similar size bike assault course, both European firsts.

“They are accompanied by a street style skatepark, a packed calendar of events and space for up to 2,500 people.

“You could say it’s a giant art project and everything that happens in it is an ‘installation’. We have all sorts of insane stuff planned that’s not just about Skate, BMX and Blade etc.

“We have music events, art displays, theatre shows and conferences in the upcoming months with the main aim of getting people of all ages to venture past the Odyssey and into the area.”

In the build up to the opening of the outdoor skatepark “Bridges” that will be situated close to T13, Cllr Convery heard how the team prepares young people, both in terms of technical ability and safety awareness.

Liam said: “He was treated to a high-octane display of extreme sports action which he enjoyed tremendously.”

Liam is also quick to dispel rumours that the urban sports park is just an attraction for the young people of the city. Liam added: “Our oldest skateboarder who uses the park is 57. It really is a venue for everybody, it’s perfect for a family fun day out, we have a lot of families that come down and spend the day here — it’s such a good vibe.”

T13 is open Monday to Friday from 6pm - 10pm and all day every Saturday and Sunday. New groups and those new to the urban sports scene are most welcome with advice from top experts on hand. For more information visit www.T13.tv

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