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TOP SKATERS AND RIDERS DROP IN ON YOUNGSTERS TO CELEBRATE £3 BILLION NATIONAL LOTTERY INVESTMENT

19th October 2019

Some of the UK’s and the world’s finest skateboarders, BMX and Wheelchair Motocross stars dropped in on young people at a South Wales skatepark today to celebrate the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised to help young people in the UK to develop and thrive over the last 25 years.

Lily Rice © Getty Images

Britain’s leading street skateboarder and 2020 Olympic hopeful, Alex Decunha, Wales’s own world champion wheelchair sports superstar, Lily Rice; the BMX free-styler from Swansea, James Jones, and YouTube influencer, Jake O’Neill (aka Jake100), visited hundreds of youngsters at Ramps indoor and outdoor skatepark in Llanelli, South Wales, as part of the National Lottery’s 25th Birthday celebrations. More than £340,000 was awarded by the National Lottery in 2013 to develop and build Ramps Skatepark which now provides activities for over 15,000 young people a year.

The event today was arranged to celebrate the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised for projects which have specifically helped children and young people develop and thrive in the UK over the last 25 years. £22.5 million of National Lottery funding has specifically been awarded to develop over 700 BMX projects and skateboarding activities in local communities across the UK for young people to enjoy.

Skateboarding will be making its debut as a medal sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Alex Decunha is one of five British skaters who have been funded by the National Lottery for the first time to travel to events during the year. Alex, who is rated as one of Britain’s leading skateboarders, rode with the youngsters to showcase his skills and demonstrate how The National Lottery is helping young people discover their passions and even follow their dreams to an elite level.

The National Lottery has inspired millions of people to get active in their local community, as well as supporting individuals and teams from grassroots to elite. Over the last 25 years, more than £3 billion of funding has been awarded to youth focussed projects and over 67,000 projects supporting secondary school children and young adults have been awarded funding in the UK.

James Jones, Lily Rice, Adam Williams, Alex Dechuna and Jake 100 © Getty Images

“I owe a great deal of gratitude to The National Lottery and its players. The funding has provided me with an opportunity to train at an elite level and chase my dreams to put me in the running to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in Tokyo next year, which is something I thought would never be possible. Over the last 25 years, the National Lottery has invested millions in supporting thousands of worthwhile projects throughout the UK which support young people to help them reach their goals or discover new opportunities. I’m delighted to be here today to help celebrate that remarkable contribution.”

Alex Decunha

“By contributing towards building amazing facilities such as this indoor and outdoor skate park, National Lottery funding is helping thousands of young people of all abilities to reach their goals and discover new opportunities. I have trained and practiced at numerous National Lottery funded skate parks and there is no doubt that the funding has helped wheeled sports enthusiasts, become healthier and more active.”

Lily, who hails National Lottery funded British Paralympic wheelchair athlete and London Marathon winner, David Weir, as her own inspiration,

“We simply wouldn’t exist without National Lottery funding and thousands of young people in the community might otherwise have nowhere to go. It’s more than just a place to hang out. It’s often a place for people to pursue their passion, meet and share experiences or become healthier and more active. It’s so important that there’s a place for young people to come and spend time and find something that makes them excited. We’re so grateful to National Lottery players for helping us.”

The Manager of Ramps Skatepark, Adam Williams

The celebration today is part of The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday programme of events and activities taking place across the nation. Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £3 billion of National Lottery funding has been awarded to youth focussed projects in the UK, including:

DanceSyndrome, Preston - an inspiring dance company in Preston made up of able and disabled young people, many of them with Downs Syndrome.

• Big Noise / Sistema, Glasgow - a project that offers free music lessons to young people in one of the city’s most deprived areas.

The Imaginarium, Newry, Northern Ireland – a magical interactive land which provides an accessible space for children of all abilities where they can re-learn the lost art of play

Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has had on your community
over the past 25 years by visiting www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by
using the 25th hashtag: #NationalLottery25

Notes to editors

Pictures, interviews and case studies of people and projects who have benefitted from National Lottery funding are available on request.

For further information, case studies and images, please contact Gayle Tupaz on 020 3003 6518 or email Gayle.Tupaz@freuds.com

About The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday

• The National Lottery’s Birthday celebrations are running for a five-week period (from14 Oct until the end of November). There are some incredible activities planned across the UK to celebrate the good causes that have been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years.

• Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.

• The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.

• The National Lottery has made more than 5,350 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.

• £22.5 million of National Lottery funding has specifically been awarded to develop over 700 BMX projects and skateboarding activities in local communities across the UK for young people to enjoy.

● More than £3 billion of National Lottery funding has been awarded to youth focussed projects over the last 25 years and over 67,000 projects supporting secondary school children and young adults have been awarded funding in the UK.

● Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund’ ‘Bright Future’ partnership, more than 50,000 young people aged 11-24 have had the opportunity to make long-term environmental improvements to their local communities

● In the last 25 years, over £1.5 billion of National Lottery funding has been awarded to over 24,500 projects which involve children and young people in the arts and culture, helping to feed their creativity, enhance their imagination and fuel the success of the UK’s growing creative industries.