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Industry News 2/18/2020

Fast Five - Skateistan Wins an Oscar


Skateistan first hit the Malakye radar in October of 2010 when the organization was looking for an Education Coordinator (hard to believe it was that long ago). This is 3 years into the mission embarked on by Oliver Percovich to bring skateboarding to youth in Afghanistan which was pretty much right in the middle of the ongoing turmoil faced by people of this country. Skateistan attracted every type of kid in the community, including girls, and caught on like wildfire. Fast forward to today and the Skateistan mission is the subject of an Oscar winning documentary. Check out this Fast Five.

For an incredibly well articulated history of Skateistan loaded with amazing accomplishments, visit the Our Story section on their website.  

1. Oliver Percovich, a skater whose profession was research, found himself in Kabul, Afghanistan with a few skateboards and desire to share skateboarding with youth in the area.

2. Within a year he had created a thriving community of kids in the area who participated in regular skate sessions, assembled a team of volunteers to help coach the kids, sought out safe locations for their programs, and very notably girls started to participate – this is in a culture where women have little to no rights and equality does not exist. What an incredible accomplishment b Skateistan to create an environment where they feel safe enough to participate.

3. “On October 29, 2009 Skateistan's first Skate School opened its doors in Kabul. It was Afghanistan's first skatepark and largest indoor sports facility, but it also featured classrooms and an office. The Skate School was built on land donated by the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee.” – Skateistan Our Story.

4. The Skateistan organization headquartered itself in Berlin Germany, formed partnerships to bring the Skateistan program to additional areas of Mazar-e-Sharif, Cambodia, and South Africa, and operations survived a suicide bombing in Kabul that claimed 8 people. What they’ve done can’t be summarized so quickly.

5. In 2020 the documentary Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl) about a group of girls in Kabul and their progress through their classes at Skateistan wins an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.

There is so much more to learn about what Skateistan has done. For a really quick, easy to read, and riveting chronology of all major accomplishments, check it out here.

Follow Skateistan on Malakye.

Learning To Skate In A War Zone (If You're A Girl) Trailer from Grain Media on Vimeo.