The First Urban Games Shines Through

Neil Jones

Leeds City Councils Sport, Active Lifestyles team and its partners delivered the first Urban Games as part of the Light Night celebration on Friday 9th October. The evening saw two different elements, first – a Street Athletics festival at the Leeds First Direct Arena and second – a 4k guided art run through the streets of the city centre.  


The GO TRY SPORT project is set to deliver 6 major participation events for young people in the city centre over the next 12 months including Cricket, Tennis and Triathlon.   Hundreds of people gathered outside the Arena to take part in the street Athletics activities, among them were:  


-A Pop Up Running Track

-Field Events -Jumps and Throws

-Free Running Workshops



The Neon Guided runs were booked to capacity with 150 people taking the opportunity to run through the City Centre dressed in Neon lights, bells and whistles. Some participants were running in the city centre for the first time and completing 4k for the very first time.  


Key to the success of the event was the deployment of 20 volunteers who played a crucial role in the delivery of the Urban Games and fulfilling roles varying from run leading to Athletics coaching. A nod goes to the following organisations who made the event possible;  

-West Yorkshire Police

-Positive Futures

-Run Leeds

-Leeds City Athletic Club

-Cockburn High School

-City Centre Community Committee

-Veggie Runners

-Leeds First Direct Arena  


James Boxell, PE teacher from Cockburn secondary school in South Leeds:


The street athletics event was an excellent way to bring the sport to children. It was amazing to see students have a go at events they have not experienced before and enjoy themselves – I hope more events like this are introduced to help inspire the next generation of students


Emma Woolford, Positive Futures manager (Leeds City Council) added:


Light Night Go Try Sports Urban Games enabled local inner city Leeds children to participate in sports traditionally delivered in a more structured, less accessible setting. The atmosphere on the evening was fun and informal and children and parents both fully engaged in the events on offer. It demonstrated a high level of interest in urban sports activities and the potential to offer this on a more frequent basis across city venues. We are looking forward to rolling out the Go Try Sport programme in early 2016


The main aim of the event was to give young people aged 8 -18 year olds a chance to participate in Athletics in a non-traditional city centre environment. Cockburn secondary school brought along a cohort of students connected to the schools athletics satellite club. Coaches and sports professionals were on hand to guide these young people and many more by sharing information on how they could get more involved in Athletics.  


Run Leeds can’t wait to be part of the GO TRY Triathlon in 2016.  


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