Skateistan // Johannesburg Skate School Opens in South Africa
On august 1st, Skateistan’s Johannesburg Skate School opened for the youth and on August 14th they got a pro opening ceremony. If you haven’t been following the building of the park check out the history here or watch the building of the park here. Now read up on the school and the opening and show your support.
We are proud to announce the completion of the Skate School in Johannesburg, which opened to registered students last week. Since 2014, we have been active in Johannesburg running sessions at Outreach locations and with partner organizations. Through this new Skate School, we will provide programs to more youth in the Central Business District (CBD) area of Johannesburg, South Africa. So far 130 youth (65 girls) have registered to be part of our programs!
The Skate School will be a safe space for local youth, with a particular focus on girls and low-income youth. Students will have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create program, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-To-School program. Exceptional youth will have the chance to join the Youth Leadership program to help organize events and assist with sessions. Thanks to the support of Royal Danish Embassy, Comic Relief and Tony Hawk Foundation, we will offer weekly programs to over 300 registered students in 2016, and more than 400 by the end of 2017.
The new Skate School is on a piece of land in New Doornfontein provided by Propertuity. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility was made possible thanks to a large donation from The Skateroom and artist Paul McCarthy, with a contribution from LinkedIn. Afrisam donated the concrete for the 500 square meter skatepark which was built by New Line Skateparks who came over from Vancouver to work alongside local builders JLVA. The shipping container classrooms and office were brought together thanks to in-kind donations from MWP architects, Maersk, CTM, Big Box and Saint-Gobain, with the educational fit-out of the classrooms being supported by the Canadian Embassy in South Africa. This unique structure, designed by Michael Scott, will be our regional base on the African continent.
The Skate School opened to registered students on August 1st and has begun running programs.
Pros visit for official launch:
The official launch is took place Sunday the 14th of August, with special guests coming to check out the Skate School and meet our students.
On Sunday the 14th of August, Skateistan, the award-winning non-profit organization that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment, officially opened their Skate School in Johannesburg. In attendance were 400 special guests and supporters including Tony Hawk and major partners The Skateroom. Artist Paul McCarthy, who donated over $200,000 to the build through his limited edition skateboards with The Skateroom, was not able to attend but over 100 of Skateistan’s students were there to celebrate their big day and thank him!
As soon as the ribbon was cut, Skateistan students pushed into the park to officially open the event. Skateistan Youth Leaders and Educators provided guided tours of the amazing classroom spaces that will host Skateistan’s programs; Skate and Create and Back-To-School. Attention quickly turned to the skate park as the crowd watched pro-skaters join forces with Skateistan students for a special session. Skaters of all ages and abilities got involved and helped each other in the park, it was a unique experience for all. Then students became spectators, as Tony Hawk and Birdhouse Skateboards team riders Shawn Hale and David Loy plus South African skaters, Thalente Biyela and Khule Ngubane, put on an impressive and inspiring demo for all. The event ended with a girls-only skate session involving Skateistan students, staff, and supporters.
The Skate School is now officially open and programs are up and running. Students between the ages of 5-17, with a particular focus on girls and low-income youth, have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create program, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-To-School program. Exceptional youth have the chance to join the Youth Leadership program to help organize events and assist with sessions. Thanks to support from the Royal Danish Embassy, Comic Relief and Tony Hawk Foundation, over 200 students (47% girls) have already registered for Skateistan’s programs, with the aim of 300 registered students by the end of 2016, and more than 400 in 2017.
Check out Skateistan here.