In pictures: Ethiopia’s skateboarders ‘go legit

The strathink editorial team could not resist posting this story about young people in Ethiopia taking up the sport of skateboarding. While children in Eritrea are risking their lives to flee Eritrea’s oppressive indefinite national service, young people in Ethiopia are enjoying their youth.

From BBC

Ethiopia’s young skateboarders, who find it hard to get spots to practise, are about to get a huge boost with the opening of the country’s first skatepark, says the BBC’s Roderick Macleod.

skateboarder pictured mid-flip
Until now, skateboarders in the capital, Addis Ababa, have had to compete with footballers for space to practise their kick-flips and grinds, using any open piece of concrete they can find.
group shot of boys walking away holding skateboards
But despite the lack of proper facilities, Ethiopia Skate, the collective formed by the city’s skateboarding enthusiasts, now has about 150 members.
Michael Baheru
“It’s the closest thing we have to flying,” says 25-year-old doctor Michael Baheru, who considers skateboarding an “expression of freedom”.
Green skateboard with
Most of the equipment members use has been donated from abroad, or is purchased and imported by the collective.
young boy runs with skateboard in his hand
Ethiopia Skate wants to get as many young people involved in the sport as possible .
Boys peer through gate of skatepark
The skaters are always on the lookout for the city’s best undiscovered spots, which often happen to be on private property…
Young skateboarder peeps over a fence to see if he can gain access to a good spot
Though that does not necessarily stop them…
three boys skateboard away with a security guard in pursuit
Much to the frustration of local security guards who are supposed to be keeping them out.
Ethiopian boy pours concrete to make a ramp while four others look on
But now, thanks to a global crowdfunding campaign, more than $35,000 (£24,600) has been raised to help build Ethiopia’s first purpose-built skatepark.
young children look on from outside the skatepark fence at the construction going on
Non-governmental organisation Make Life Skate, which has built similar parks in India, Bolivia, Jordan, and Myanmar, is contributing expertise as well as funding the project.
Topless volunteer adds finishing touches to one of the skate park's features
More than 50 volunteer skatepark builders from outside Ethiopia have been working with locals for the past few weeks.
Young ethiopians get involved in the building project
During the construction, local youth involved in the project have been learning skills like carpentry, welding and cement mixing.
skateboarders take a break sitting on some concrete breeze blocks
Skateboarders of all ages will be able to borrow equipment for free once the new park opens on Saturday.

2 Responses to “In pictures: Ethiopia’s skateboarders ‘go legit”

  1. Ayalew Teshome--CANADA says:

    Great job by the volunteers and skating enthusiasts—please advance it thru out Ethiopia!

    Let the Ethiopian youth have fun and enjoy their young years in what they like to do as fun and pleasure killing their own time. There is nothing wrong with being a skater at all.

  2. Ayalew Teshome--CANADA says:

    Build and construct small skating parks as many as possible — not just in Addis only.
    That way a healthy, fit and sporty youth can be raised in Ethiopia. Also try to contact skate boarding organizations listed below for a possible assistance and support in future development endeavors in Ethiopia. They could be very helpful and encouraging to expand skating sport in Ethiopia. The national Ministry of Sports of Ethiopia should also support skateboarding sports in Ethiopia.



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