Words by Sita Narayan-Dinanauth & Tim van Asdonck
Pictures by Clément Taquet & Gregoire Delevacque
In 2017, Peruvian children who had never seen a skateboard before were given one for the first time thanks to the Concrete Jungle Foundation’s Edu-Skate Programme. Now, some of them are shredding the local streets. The Foundation’s work – to build skateparks and introduce educational skateboarding programmes to some of the most isolated and culturally diverse communities in the world – has been a success for 5 years.
Tim van Asdonck, a lifelong skateboarder and the Director of the global Concrete Jungle Foundation (CJF) Edu-Skate Programme, is humble about being the first one to teach them an activity that offered endless creativity and physical exercise.
Two students sitting on the Alto Trujillo quarter pipe (2017)
Edu-skate is a season of skate classes integrated into the local school curriculum and has been running for 5 years. With one Edu-Skate season running for 3 months, CJF have achieved 11 seasons in Peru, 8 seasons in Jamaica, 3 seasons in Austria (with Skateboard Club Vienna), 2 seasons in Greece (with Free Movement Skateboarding) and 1 season in Morocco and Angola by 2022. CJF works with local schools and NGO’s to provide a safe space for the children to learn and incorporate skateboarding into the local curriculum. Teaching students life skills through skateboarding is a real focus and thus is done through workshops, group discussions, field trips, contests and community activities.
Visit to the Fort Charles Museum in Port Royal, Jamaica (2022)
It’s easy to see why local directors and teachers would trust Tim and the CJF crew, they’re all skateboarders and are all keen to promote the sport through the lens of positivity. How did the teachers feel it turned out?
Three students having fun at the Alto Trujillo Skatepark (2018)
And what about the parents, weren’t they worried about safety?
This was just the beginning 5 years ago, the Edu-Skate programme went on to hire teachers trained as psychologists and researchers to assess the impact on children, create paid teaching jobs for local skateboarders and taught the CJF crew how to design and execute an educational skateboarding programme in some of the most geographically and culturally difficult places around the globe.
We’ll be publishing more articles soon about the Edu-Skate programme in 2022, the CJF perspective of a psychologist in Peru, news on 2022 CJF female leadership awards and managing an international team as a small, innovative non-profit.
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