Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 11:27

Things will be getting a bit ‘Xtreme at the Eden Project on the weekend of 25th-26th September, as it hosts the first ever Xpress’10 – RELAYS festival of extreme sports and expressive arts. This unique event marks the half-way point for the RELAYS (Regional Educational Legacy for Art and Youth Sport) project which aims to combine the creativity and talent of young people and university students across the South West and inspire them to engage with the 2012 London Games.

As the UK looks forward to the London 2012 Games, the South West’s legacy project, RELAYS, provides opportunities for young people across the region to get involved with an exciting programme of cultural and sporting festivals and events.
‘RELAYS is all about engaging young people in the South West in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them. Not everyone can be, or wants to be, the fastest runner or swimmer, but the sports and art activities we are showcasing here appeal to a wide range of abilities and tastes,’ explains RELAYS Project Director, Leanne Dingle. ‘Art, dance, sports fashion, free running and skate boarding, may not have an obvious link to the Games, but they are true to the spirit of London 2012’s Inspire programme where everyone is invited to take part and can join in. We are delighted that Xpress’10 has been recognised through the Inspire programme and awarded the Inspire mark, making it part of London 2012’s brand family.’

Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “Xpress’10 is encouraging young people to fulfil their potential. I am proud that, with the help of partners such as Relays, we are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in the arts and youth sport across the South West.”

Some of the highlights for the RELAYS Xpress’10 include:
• live performances by the most exciting youth dance and music groups in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, including Camborne’s TR14ers and Lyme Regis’s B Sharp
• a sportswear and sustainability themed fashion show featuring collections by innovative and award winning young designers from University College Falmouth
• film screenings by young people from across the South West
• a Poetry Café, where you can enjoy an energetic, fun and informal showcase of street style poetry, by Bath Spa University Creative Writing students
• an exhibition of photography, installation and film exploring contemporary surf culture in Cornwall
• an URBANISE Arena, taking place around a new wooden half pipe created specially for the Biennale by local youth led skate carpentry outfit Xtravert
• free workshops for people to try out alternative sports and their sub-cultures, including free running, skating on the brand new half pipe, graffiti, DJ-ing, street dance and street soccer
‘The choice of the venue was very important to us,’ said Jo Gardner (RELAYS Cultural Coordinator, the Arts University College at Bournemouth), who along with Virginia Bailey (RELAYS School Events Coordinator Bournemouth University) and Tamsin Godfrey (RELAYS Cultural Coordinator, University College Falmouth) have organised the event. ‘The Eden Project is iconic to the south west and stands for innovation, imagination and inspiration. We felt that it was a perfect match for our festival.’
Emma Hogg, the Eden Project's Site Wide Live Producer, said: "We're really pleased to be hosting Xpress’10. Eden is all about education and inspiration and we can't wait to see the talents of the south west's students and young people being showcased here. From poetry to breakdancing, it's going to be a unique event and one which will embody the spirit of 2012 brilliantly."

To help make the event as accessible to young people as possible, through funding by the Arts Council England’s A Night Less Ordinary scheme, RELAYS is delighted to offer 500 free tickets to young people under 26 years, on first come first served basis.
RELAYS seeks to engage young people in the South West in sporting and cultural events in the run up to the London 2012 Games. Led by Universities South West, through a network of regional universities and cultural organisations, RELAYS aims to blend youth sport and cultural in a vibrant mixture of activities across the region. It is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity that has been set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games and HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England).