The inclusion of skateboarding in the recent Tokyo Olympics has shone a spotlight on a sport that has for many years provided opportunities and a sense of community and belonging for many young people.
While the youth in Kenya make up 65% of the country’s population almost half of them are unable to find meaningful employment and live significantly below the absolute poverty line, leaving them vulnerable to hopelessness, at risk of offending to make ends meet or abusing drugs.
Our initial aim is to organise an event to raise the profile of skateboarding among the youth of Kenya, including, freestyle, ramp and street skating competitions, music, exhibitions and coaching taster sessions which will provide a platform from which we can engage Kenya’s youth and deliver the benefits of skateboarding in three important ways.
• SPORTING – the more young people who are given exposure to skateboarding the more chance there is that people with the talent to compete at elite level or even contend for Olympic medals can be identified and given the chance to shine on the world’s biggest sporting stage with all the opportunities that participation in elite sport can bring.
• ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Whilst not everyone who steps on a skateboard is destined to be the next Sky Brown, skateboarding is a growing community with its own particular needs. By raising the profile of skateboarding in Kenya we aim to grow the markets upon which skateboarding depends creating opportunities for young entrepreneurs in among other things carpentry for ramp building, skateboard and related equipment retailing, fashion design and retail and other related creative businesses which can serve the growing skateboarding community in Kenya and the wider East African region.
• PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT – the Skateboarding community is one of the most diverse in the world, age, gender, race or ability are no barrier to getting involved on some level. Not only is skateboarding itself great for promoting physical fitness and discipline but as an social activity it provides an important support network for those who may be struggling with the difficulties of life or experiencing mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety etc which can lead to drug abuse, criminality or self harm.
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