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Skate Park opens in Mazar-e-Sharif

in Afghan Business

Skate Park opens in Mazar-e-Sharif

skateboardingAnother skate park was opened in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan by the Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich.

This was the second skate park opened in Afghanistan after a similar park was created in capital Kabul by Skateistan, an Afghan NGO that works with youths from a range of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds to build trust and to provide empowerment through a combination of skateboarding and educational activities.

“We’ve got two in Afghanistan now. We’ve just opened a brand new one in Mazar-e-Sharif. The one in Kabul is 1,700 square metres. It’s a large indoor skatepark. We’ve got a marble floor in there – it’s definitely a skatepark that would be a really good one anywhere in the world, let alone in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Percovich.

Skateistan began when skateboarder Percovich arrived in Kabul in 2007 with his board. After being surrounded by enthusiastic children wanting to learn how to skate, Percovich dedicated himself to creating a small skate school in Afghanistan.

A group of Afghan friends who were naturals shared the three boards and started skateboarding together. Oliver’s success with his first students encouraged him to expand and bring more boards back to Kabul and establish an indoor skateboarding venue. This way, many more youth could gain advantage and a private facility would allow older girls to continue skateboarding. The Afghan National Olympic Committee donated 5,428 square meters of land to Skateistan and allowed them to complete their construction of an all-inclusive skate park and educational facility.

In Kabul, Skateistan’s students come from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of Afghanistan and include hundreds of streetworking children, youth with disabilities, and 40% female participants. These students at Skateistan learn to develop skills in skateboarding, leadership, civic responsibility, multimedia, and creative arts. Skateistan is an opportunity for youth of different genders and ethnicities to come together and learn to lead their communities towards change and development. Skateistan encourages equality and uses skateboarding as a foundation for peace and as a tool for empowerment of Afghan youth.



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