StreetAttack in East Jutland: 2019 success story. 2020 edition on the way

03/08/2020 By Irina Coreachina, European Week of Sport Denmark Coordinator

StreetAttack is a street sports project run by DGI (Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations) targeting children and young people. With street sports as the focal point, the initiative aims to encourage youth to take up an active lifestyle.

The East Jutland branch of DGI has been actively disseminating the concept in the region for several years. Some of the events have been part of the European Week of Sport Denmark since 2018, when the Move for Life festival took place in Aarhus, where street sports were well represented, was organised.

In 2019 a series of #BeActive StreetAttack events took place in five indoor skate facilities in four East Jutland municipalities. The purpose was to support street sports environments to create or contribute to events themselves, focusing on the visibility of the activities and on converting visitors to active participants.

“In 2019, we experimented with transferring most of both financial resources and responsibility to the skate facilities. The five facilities and their 43 volunteers lifted the task far beyond expectations, while at the same time becoming stronger and more skilled. 1100 participants took part in the events. 60% of them had never participated in similar activities before. The associations gained 240 new members and approximately 15 new volunteers as a result,” says Nicolaj Ruby, project manager at DGI East Jutland.

This approach allowed the facilities to realise some of their priorities. Board and Fun in Allingåbro, for example, put an emphasis on increasing the girls' participation in street sports. As a part of the European Week of Sport Denmark, they organised a girls-only session, inviting girls from the local school to the event. The interest was high, so a weekly Girl Skate activity has happened in the club on Mondays since then. Omega Skate Hall in Søften initiated scooter practices for beginners, which attracted many new members and volunteers.

StreetAttack events also contributed to the expansion of the use of the facilities. Hall 22 in Grenaa has established a collaboration with the local business school and kindergarten so they can use the infrastructure for teaching purposes. Board and Fun, together with the local school, tested a creative approach of combining sports and music classes in the venue. During this elective course, the sports action is accompanied by live music performed by students that makes the activity especially attractive.

The focus of the Skateboardskolen in Aarhus was not only on recruiting the new members but also on retaining existing ones. The club has developed a Younggun League - a competition for the experienced skaters, which creates an incentive to stay in the community and hone their skills.

Kraftværket Skatehal in Kolind organised an “open house event” during EWOS, with shows from a professional international rider, giveaways and DJ. This also resulted in an increase of newcomers who signed up for the club’s membership.

“StreetAttack has been successful in establishing collaborations with the street sports clubs, making use of urban spaces and facilities, and not least making the street sports environment more inclusive and attractive for groups who are not motivated to participate in the more classic sports,” says Nicolaj Ruby.

“When working on project development, we organised several meetings for the facilities’ representatives. During the meetings, the clubs were able to share the ideas and experience and support each other in launching new initiatives that have already been tested and successfully implemented in the other venues. We aim to keep the sustainable and long-term approach of the StreetAttack initiatives by being both ambitious and realistic in further developing the experiences of 2019,” he says sharing the plans for 2020.

In 2020, the series of StreetAttack events will be part of the European Week of Sport Denmark again. The clubs Board and Fun, Aarhus SkateScene, Hall 22, Omega Skate Hall and Urban Street Zone in collaboration with Gadeidræt (the national platform for streetsports) will open their doors for everyone. Stay tuned for the details!

Meanwhile, here is the throwback to the 2019 edition of StreetAttack for your inspiration.