Skateistan South Africa Update: Laying the Foundations for a Skate School
The’s a lot going on the skate world from talks of Olympics and the coming event schedule to new hot products and how best to film skaters using them. A new trend I’m seeing are the number of Go Fund Me requests for some pretty opportunistic and sometimes silly things, I think. I’m don’t mean to hate, but there are some really great projects out there that don’t just involve getting some new gear for people you know. Amongst it all, there are some ways that skateboarding is being used for good for those that might be less fortunate and not just first world fun.These qualified do gooders could use your help. Skateistan in particular has been doing amazing things with skateboarding for years. Their mission, to use skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential for change. I often check their blog and follow their work. I found one of their latest projects I wanted to share with everyone and encourage you to check out Skateistan, donate if you can and follow along.
Last month, an empty space between two buildings in the Maboneng area of Johannesburg became a construction site, as builders started laying the foundations for Skateistan South Africa’s first Skate School! It’s been almost 2 years since we began activities in South Africa, partnering with local organizations and running Outreach sessions, with the aim of providing safe spaces for kids to learn and play through our programs such as Skate and Create. In 2014, we cleaned up the Troyeville bowl (on the border of central Johannesburg) with the help of the local kids and gave it a fresh lick of paint and we have been successfully running Outreach sessions at it ever since.
Whilst we continue to run sessions at the bowl, plus our programs with, a new partner organization, Streetlight Schools, things are starting to take shape over at the, soon to be, Skate School…
WHAT IS A SKATE SCHOOL?
Our Skate Schools are a place where kids have the right to express themselves, play and learn with one another, knowing they are welcomed and encouraged to do so. They consist of a skatepark (either indoor, outdoor or both), alongside classroom or study areas from which we run our programs such as Skate and Create. It matters for kids to have safe places like this to play in, especially for those living in difficult circumstances. In South Africa, the streets aren’t a safe place for children but at our Skate Schools and Outreach sessions we are able to provide this much-needed safe space. Our new Skate School in Johannesburg will consist of shipping container classrooms and study areas, as well as a 500 square meter skatepark and outdoor educational space, not only a safe space but a fun and encouraging environment!
FIRST UP THE CLASSROOMS
Check out the first video update from Operations Director, Brandon and Operations Manager, Chris, giving an update from the site:
Foundations and concrete down, it’s almost time for the shipping containers to make their way to the site in time for Classroom Educators, Wendy and Enos to check out their new workplace. Then, specialists, New Line Skateparks will be heading from Vancouver to Johannesburg to help build the concrete skatepark over the next few weeks – they are currently fundraising for the trip through Crowdrise, help out here.