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Urban Skateboard contest headed to Sports Arena

Juliana D. Norwood | 2/1/2012, 5 p.m.

The Urban Skateboard Association (U.S.A.) is a nonprofit organization formed to provide alternative recreation and diversionary programs to underserved, at-risk youth in inner-city communities locally and across the country.

"Our vision is to uplift and empower our inner city youth and low-income families while changing lives and creating new opportunities through extreme sports," said founder William Lamar.

". . . U.S.A.'s strategic plan is to support the building of a world-class, skate and BMX complex, Area 51-Extreme Sports Training Facility. Our Extreme Sports Training Facility will also serve host to family-friendly community events such as our inaugural Skateboard Throwdown Festival 2011."

Lamar also believes the complex will serve as U.S.A.'s model and testament to the realization of something of mutual benefit, which is simply when the community and business partner to provide safe and healthy forms and areas of recreation.

"Just as in others communities in the greater Los Angeles area, we expect this new one-of-a-kind training facility will be an excellent alternative for youth to gather and participate in healthy organized fellowship," said Lamar. "U.S.A. recognizes that youth need positive alternatives to keep physically fit and entertained and know that this new extreme sports training facility will be just one of many sustainable opportunities well suited and created with our community in mind."

In efforts to continue his involvement in the community and his support of youth, Lamar plans to host this year the first Sk8 Wars Urban Battle AM Tour, an amateur street skating competition that will bring the world of extreme sports into the inner-city and in turn spotlight inner-city skaters in the world of extreme sports.

The full-day event is set for the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Saturday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The day features the skate competition and a concert plus $5,000 in cash and prizes.

A specialty skate course is being custom-built inside of the Sports Arena so the most innovative riders will be able to show off their talent for the first-place grand prize of $2,500 in cash and prizes. The top four competitors will also be awarded.

Professional skateboarder, Anthony Mosley, will be joined by skate stars Jake Brown and Pep Williams. Brown's style and mastery of technical and flip tricks led him to his first X Games gold in 2006. Williams is a professional skateboarder and world renowned photographer. Mosely, Brown, Williams and other skateboard stars, including Sal Barbier and Fabian Alomar, will all be part of the day's excitement.

The concert will be intertwined throughout the day's competition with performances from recording artists from Hip Hop to Rock.

The skate competition, bands and more than 20 vendors specializing in food, beverages, and skate equipment will come together for a family, fun-filled day.

Sk8 Wars Urban Battle AM competition provides an opportunity for urban skateboarders to get exposure and experience in a large amateur skateboard competition in Southern California.

U.S.A.'s community outreach efforts have included giving free skateboards to youth who participated in summer community and graffiti cleanup programs. Lamar has also sponsored free surf lessons and surf contests at local beaches. USA's outreach, mentoring and skate workshops were all a part of the dream that led Lamar to create the SK8 Wars Urban Battle AM Tour.