By ASHLEY ANDERSON
Some of the worldâ€™s most elite athletes will soar high into the Derby City sky as the second annual Vault in the Ville takes over Fourth Street Live! on Saturday, June 8.
Founded in 2012 by pole vaulting champion Chip Heuser, a graduate of St. Xavier High School, Vault in the Ville is an annual street party with top athletes competing for the title of U.S. Street Vault National Champion. â€œItâ€™s really kind of a European thing, and (street vaults) started becoming popular in the United States Iâ€™d say in the â€™80s,â€ Heuser explained of the Vault in the Ville concept. â€œI thought if everybody else can do it, why canâ€™t we in Louisville and Fourth Street Live? Iâ€™ve always wanted to do a street vault at Fourth Street Live! just because of the atmosphere.â€
From live music to a brimming beer garden and incredibly fit men and women â€“ many whoâ€™ve qualified or are training to qualify to contend in the Olympics â€“ Vault in the Ville provides an array of entertainment, and a type not often witnessed in Louisville. In addition to bringing a unique event to the downtown district, Vault in the Ville also promotes health and fitness while benefiting the Louisville Youth Training Center, a public charity devoted to increasing the health and wellness of Louisvilleâ€™s and the nationâ€™s youth.
In its second year, Heuser said Vault in the Ville has already raised almost twice the amount of money as last year through the help of sponsors such as Blue Grass Audi, 21c Museum Hotel and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, allowing the event to be held on an even grander scale. New for 2013, the day-long fete, which is free to the public, will feature a Fun Festival, or street health fair, with several companies offering kid- and family-friendly activities. The festival will begin at 11 a.m. Pole vaulting competition on the Vault in the Ville runway will also be organized throughout the day until 4 p.m., with high school athletes in the morning and open and masters divisions in the afternoon.
â€œIâ€™m hoping that this event will inspire kids to come out and learn to pole vault or high jump or long jump because thatâ€™s what we do, plus it helps promote youth athletics and the sport of track and field in the state of Kentucky,â€ said Heuser, who teaches local kids the art of pole vaulting at the Vault in the Ville Training Center (VVTC) located at the Louisville Executive Aviation Hangar. Pole vaulting classes are held throughout the summer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. every day, unless otherwise specified, at the center. Heuser, the president and meet director of VVTC, and his training partner Chris Daniel, vice president of VVTC, help athletes of all levels excel in pole vaulting and other track and field events.
The best of the best in the sport can be seen at the main event of Vault in the Ville, held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Sixteen world-class vaulters â€“ including Heuser and the male and female winners of last yearâ€™s Vault in the Ville â€“ will battle it out for the honor of U.S. Street Vault National Champion, who will receive $2,000 in prize money. Second place will earn $1,000, while third place will be given $500 and fourth place $250.
â€œI want families to come out and watch, because if you experienced it last year, you could feel the energy, you know what the energy felt like there. Itâ€™s something that people have never seen, and (youâ€™re) able to meet Olympic athletes up close,â€ Heuser said. â€œThe Olympic gold medalist from 2004 is coming. Heâ€™s our master of ceremonies. Heâ€™s going to bring his gold medal. You have opportunities to meet these young men and women who will eventually represent the United States in the Olympics, the World Championships. These are elite athletes and theyâ€™re performing for Louisville â€“ just for Louisville. Itâ€™s so much fun, and thatâ€™s why weâ€™re doing the street fest too, because we want to involve kids. We donâ€™t want them just to come and watch, we want them to do as well.â€
For more information on Vault in the Ville, visit www.vaultintheville.com or â€œLIKEâ€ Vault in the Ville on Facebook.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.