Skateboard tournament to challenge area youth

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Whether they seek a competitive thrill or are out to exercise a challenging hobby, area youth have an opportunity to enter a skateboard tournament hosted by a local youth church group beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at the skate park in Craig.

Categories will include beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and the grand prize is a $100 gift certificate to J &R Cyclery in Craig. Other prizes for first, second, and third place in each category are gift certificates to other local merchants, including World Footbag Association.

"We seek to accommodate young people, and meet them where they are," said Angela Vesely, co-youth leader of thesoulcenter, which is Craig Assembly of God youth group.

Skateboarding is becoming popular with all age groups, according to the Craig Parks and Recreation Department. Department officials said they are having new ramps built and new asphalt laid in the near future. Skateboarding lessons and programming also are in the planning.

Vesely said the youth group wants to recognize the skateboard talent in Craig.

"Skateboarding is a positive alternative to other options some youth may have presented to them," she said.

Vesely said many skateboarders have attended their group's meetings.

"We support this self-motivating activity," she said. "For the most part, kids in Craig hang out with their friends. We want to encourage and provide an environment where youth can have fun and be safe."

Vesely stressed that no religious affiliation is necessary in order to participate in the tournament.

Registration cost is $15 on the day of the tournament for youth ages 12-19. A full concession stand will be available.

Vesely said the group is exploring the idea of a bike tournament in the future.

For more information, call 824-8224.

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