Asylum ACES began in 2014 aiming to encourage young people to participate in extreme sports. We run an indoor skatepark of 13,000sq ft and we're extremely proud of the positive impact we've had on local people, particularly those with no interest in 'mainstream' sports. The skatepark greatly benefits those participating: involving youngsters in a positive way; keeping adults and youngsters fit and active; assisting with reducing obesity in a fun, friendly way; allowing customers to participate in a high risk adrenalin sport in the safest and most responsible manner. (Our local outdoor parks lack first-aid cover, are unsupervised, usually covered in glass and a magnet for anti-social behaviour).
In addition, Asylum ACES sponsor young people who show talent in their preferred sport. We provide free entry to the Skatepark for fully sponsored team members and reduced entry fees for those on staged sponsorships. We also, where possible, provide tuition free of charge and equipment at cost price. This allows team members to develop their skills and expertise in an affordable way and encourages them to participate at least twice a week. Our team have really done us proud. At NASS (in 2016) Izzy Burrell, aged 14, won the girls competition in an extremely convincing way. She recently represented Team GB at the World Championships in China, finishing 17th overall and 1st for GB. She will be representing Team GB again, hopefully in the next World Championship round. Lucio Oliveira, aged 18 is fast becoming GB’s number 1 vert rider on skateboard, and, in addition to our sponsorship, Ellis Lloyd aged 14 on BMX has also been sponsored by WETHEPEOPLE BMX, one of the biggest BMX brands worldwide.
To keep the skatepark interesting so local young people keep participating, we need to extend into larger premises and improve our facilities. We also need to make it challenging enough to train our team riders to the standard required to be selected for the Olympics as well as other National/International competitions. A very generous local businessman has bought us a foam pit and resi ramp. We know that local young people are really excited about these as they allow them to try new tricks and skills without injury. These are currently in storage ready for when we move.
We had an agreement with our current landlord to extend the skatepark into two adjoining units and received an offer of funding from Sport England to help us to do this. We, and our customers, were really excited about this, especially since we'd shared the plans for the new skatepark with them and they could see how fantastic it was going to be and had the foam pit and resi-ramp bought for us. Unfortunately, before we could complete the move, our landlord received an offer for significantly more rent than we had agreed and has let the units to someone else.
We have found new, bigger premises and have re-submitted our project to Sport England. This means we will have to start from scratch, but we're up for the challenge. We will use the money to move our existing ramps, reception and café, to our new premises, re-using everything we can recycle. Vision Ramps, our skatepark builders, have designed a fantastic new skatepark, which we know will appeal to existing and new participants. We have agreed an affordable 7 year lease on the new property and are ready to move as soon as we have funding in place.
We are really excited about the opportunity to extend and improve.