Skateistan is using skateboarding as a tool to bring opportunities to youth in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa

Skateistan began as a grassroots ‚Sport for Development‘ project on the streets of Kabul in 2007, and is now an award-winning, international NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) with projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Skateistan is the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. Skateistan is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds. We caught up with the founder Oliver Percovich to find out more about Skateistan.

Hi Oliver, please introduce yourself to our readers.

I am Oliver Percovich. I’m a skateboarder as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Skateistan, an international NGO that uses skateboarding as tool for youth empowerment and education.

What does sport and skateboarding mean to you?

Skateboarders bond together through a shared passion for the sport. These friendships that are formed allow skateboarding to be an agent for positive social change.

How are you helping kids to be active?

Skateistan’s programs teach skateboarding, arts-based education and a whole host of other sports like basketball, soccer and rock-climbing to marginalized children in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. In these countries, the opportunity to play sport is very rare, especially for girls. Over 40% of Skateistan students are girls.

What was your most special story of someone experiencing he benefits of skateboarding, and being inspired to be active?

It’s hard to pick just one, because I’ve seen so many children become inspired by skateboarding, especially in Afghanistan where many are working in the street – selling chewing gum or washing cars in the freezing cold Afghan winter.

Thank you Oliver.

Discover more about Skateistan on their website, and find out how you can support the project.