High hopes ahead of inaugural World Urban Games in Budapest
Almost 300 of the world’s top urban sport athletes are expected to head to Budapest, Hungary, this weekend for what is billed as "the ultimate showcase of urban culture".
The inaugural World Urban Games (WUG) Budapest 2019, organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), will take place from 13 to 15 September and feature six competition and two showcase sports.
Launched with the full support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), these multi-sport games will be held every two years and will feature a wide range of events from sport competitions, showcases and demonstrations integrated with youth-focused music, dance, art and urban culture. Organisers hope that the World Urban Games will become the ultimate global showcase for a new generation of urban sports; a showcase for the skill, style and power of the most inspirational urban athletes on the planet.
The role of the Games is to create a multi-sport platform for International Federations and new disciplines on a global stage. As well as incorporating competition and showcase sports, the demonstration events and amateur and initiation sessions will provide opportunities for spectators of all ages and abilities to also participate and try a number of exciting urban sports.
This weekend’s Games will take place on the site of the Nagyvásártelep, an abandoned market hall – known as the Big Market – located within 15 minutes of the city centre and lying close to the River Danube in the south of the Hungarian capital. The site has an authentically urban feel and will provide the perfect backdrop for what promises to be a fascinating three-day festival of urban culture.
The sport programme includes 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, flying disc, parkour and roller freestyle. Both indoor rowing and laser run are included as showcase events, with action concluding on Sunday (September 15). Among the sport disciplines taking part, 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle and breaking will all feature as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programmes and possibly Paris 2024.
The Festival programme also includes live music, street art and dance, with the aim of inspiring a new generation of urban athletes around the world by promoting sports and disciplines which are innovative and appealing to the youth and local population in a fun and engaging way.