Urban sports fans are building links across the city and beyond with the official opening of the new Bridges Urban Sports Park in Belfast city centre strong>
The £500,000 Park, funded by the European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace lll) and Belfast City Council, offers a world class facility which can be used for competitions as well fun and excitement by urban sport enthusiasts.
The Mayor, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile, said the park’s opening is “an exciting day for city, and our region. It is an iconic addition to Belfast’s landscape.”
He said the name of Bridges, chosen by public vote, was particularly meaningful as we are working to build bridges between people and communities through sport.
“We aspire to develop the interest, talent and potential of urban sports. In bringing this park to fruition with our partners the Special European Union Programmes Body, and Belfast Urban Sports (BUS), we have created a shared and safe place where people of all ages and abilities can participate.
“Bridges Urban Sports Park is unique, it is exciting and is set to become home to some of the most breathtaking urban sports tricks ever seen in this city. We are also sure it will attract visitors from Belfast and beyond,” added Councillor Ó Donnghaile.
He was speaking after a tour of the park in Little Patrick Street, under the M3 flyover, where he and other guests were treated to a display of skill from Freestyle BMX and Skateboard team and dazzled by the excellence of Matt Gillespie, an international competitor in BMX and skateboarder, Conhuir Lynn.
Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the SEUPB, welcomed the completion of the project saying: “Young people have an important role to play in ensuring continued peace and stability in Northern Ireland. Projects like this allow them to interact with each other on a cross-community basis and secure positive and lasting friendships in a shared space, free of prejudice.
“I firmly believe that this joint fruition of space and facilities such as the Bridges Sports Park, which are common and open to all as individuals, is a fundamental step in achieving a truly shared society.”
BUS spokesman, Liam Lynch, said Bridges success was down to the strong partnership between local enthusiasts and Belfast City Council. “We were delighted to secure PEACE lll funding through the European Regional Development Fund and now that the Park is operational we can develop urban sports and make them accessible to everyone.
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