Skateistan began as a Kabul-based Afghan NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) and is now an International non-profit charity providing skateboarding and educational programming in Afghanistan and Cambodia. Skateistan is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.
Skateboarding in Afghanistan?
Absolutely. As soon as Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich
dropped his board in Kabul in 2007, he was surrounded by the eager faces
of children of all ages who wanted to be shown how to skate. Stretching
out the three boards he and a former girlfriend/aidworker had brought
with them, "Ollie" began dedicating himself to the creation of a small
skate school in Afghanistan.
A group of Afghan friends (aged 18-22) who were naturals at
skateboarding shared the three boards and quickly progressed in their
new favourite sport—and so skateboarding hit Afghanistan. The success
with the first students prompted Ollie to think bigger: by bringing more
boards back to Kabul and establishing an indoor skateboarding venue,
the program would be able to teach many more youth, and also be able to
provide older girls with a private facility to continue skateboarding.
On October 29, 2009, Skateistan completed construction of an
all-inclusive skatepark and educational facility on 5428 square meters
of land donated by the Afghan National Olympic Committee. The indoor
section was graciously built by IOU Ramps.
Skateistan has emerged as Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school,
and is dedicated to teaching both male and female students. It aims to
build indoor and outdoor skateboarding facilities in which youth can
come together to skateboard: here, they forge bonds that transcend
social barriers. Here, they’re enabled to affect change on issues that
are important to them.
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