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Social enterprise skates into Craigavon

Published: Wed, 3 May 2017
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Ryan McGroder of Craigavon Urban Sports
An exciting new social enterprise initiative funded by the Housing Executive is set to skate its way into Craigavon.
Craigavon Urban Sports is a new business venture aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and mental health issues through urban sports.
Skateboarding, BMX, skating and free-running are some of the exciting adventure sports which will be available to young people across the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council area. An indoor skate park based in Craigavon will be home for these sports, helping to enhance community cohesion in the area.
The local business has received £1,000 funding through our Social Enterprise Investment Fund, which aims at building services and creating new jobs and opportunities in local housing communities. Money awarded ranges from £500 to £50,000 and the scheme forms an integral part of our new Social Housing Enterprise Strategy.
36 year old Ryan McGroder of Craigavon Urban Sports, who got into urban sports said:
“We are delighted to have received support through the Housing Executive’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund, which has helped realise our aspirations of bring urban sports to Craigavon
“Our long-term goal is to transform Craigavon Leisure Centre into a multi-use and urban sports centre when it closes in 2019. Our short term plan is to build an outdoor skate park with unused, existing equipment and to promote the positive benefits urban sports have on young people.
“Craigavon Urban Sports will become a hub for positive lifestyle experiences as well as tackling issues affecting the local community. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of key stakeholders such as Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Housing Executive.”
Our own Connor Smith said: “The Social Enterprise Investment Fund aims at fostering vibrant communities through initiatives created by people who live in the local area. These people understand the issues of primary concern to residents and seek help to address them. Ryan identified a long-term project which benefits the wider community, so we are delighted to provide support.
“We look forward in watching Craigavon Urban Sports grow  and we encourage young people in the area to get involved in activities which will have a positive outcome on their personal development.”