By Dian Hasan | September 5, 2009
Research says that children who are physically active, or get into sports, take their mind off of unnecessary adverse activities. Sports keeps the young bodies (and minds) active and energized. After all, getting oxygen flowing into the veins is a good thing. And this is true for kids and teens in any country, regardless of economic background and development status.
That’s what we all know. This theory is now being put to a test at East Africa’s first Skate Park – Kitintale – in a working class suburb in Kampala, Uganda. The park was created both for and by local kids, without assistance from either NGOs or Government. Read on to find out how you can help.
The skate park could be described as both a source of pride and empowerment, a space that not only keeps kids out of trouble, but fosters the development of a real sense of community. It’s a real dream. Kampala teens can stay on the street, but skateboarding their idle time away, rather than engaging in negative/illegal activities.
The Kitintale Skate Park is of course far from complete, its a pilot project based on the needs of keeping Kampala teens engaged in positive activities, and as random as it may sound, skateboarding somehow struck a chord. And its popularity is growing among teens, and not in the neighborhoods you’d expect it (Note: in developing nations, sports like Skateboarding are generally expensive and available only to middle-to-upper income families. Considered a “modern lifestyle” popularized by MTV, TV Shows and Hollywood). So Kitintale is a true breath of fresh air.
Kitintale was made possible with the help of the immediate community, as well as individual and corporate sponsors – from across the world. News about the project was spread through the internet. And used equipment and gear was sourced mainly through the US, as well as other countries. One famous contributor whose name is synonymous with skateboarding – none other than Tony Hawk – has provided skateboarding gear (and let’s not forget the important shoes!!) through his Tony Hawk Foundation.
If you are interested to learn more about this project, and how you could help or contribute, please visit Kitintale Skate Park’s BLOG, entitled Uganda Skateboard Union.
A Cool name for an even COOLER MISSION!