By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder, is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
In Latin America the number of skateboarders increases daily, and teachers who are willing to teach skate skills to new generations are growing as well. This is the case presented by the Skateboarding Association of Concepción Uruguay (ASCU) located in the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina, who are diligently working for the development of skateboarding infrastructure in their province and are waiting for the construction of a public skateboard park with easy access for the entire community.
In 2018 the Skateboarding Association of Concepción Uruguay consists of 10 members who represent as an organization to provide the entire skate scene with projects that benefits all those who play a fundamental role in this sports environment, with projects such as events, trips, stage management, and training programs with instructors certified by the Argentine Skating Federation.
Teaching The New Generation of Concepción
The ASCU has a skateboarding school, called La Escuelita Skate, where they are one step away from obtaining legal status as a part of the projects in which they work on as an organization. However, their history so far as a local sporting scene has been long and hard, with a wait of more than 10 years for turning their public skate park dream into a reality.
Therefore, as an organization they have arranged to make the request of the stage, demanding answers from about a process that is the responsibility of the entire skateboarding community in the territory. The meeting was presented today at Playón, Concepción, their first meeting after quarantine. In this meeting, whilst complying with all biosafety protocols, they not only aiming at making a claim to the state, but are also collecting food and clothing for later donations to vulnerable familiesin the area.
The community of this province does not have the appropriate settings for the practice of skateboarding unlike perhaps other provinces of Argentina do. However, the organization has been concerned with keeping the scene alive and has created spaces that allow skaters to focus on their sports development and learning, for them it is now time to move on to the next level.
"Tomorrow we are convening a meeting, the objective is convince the municipality that there is a need for public spaces to skate and with specific characteristics of a skatepark", said Agustin Prati, who belongs to the Association exclusively for SHIT Magazine.
Social Projects for Argentine Skateboarding, Entre Rios Province
Although the construction process is still late, the time for execution and realization of this scenario seems to be close, the aspirations are high and the sports park is expected to be complete for the different levels of learning (initial, intermediate and advanced) and that, also, provides the size of an Olympic track. Agustín states that part of the construction materials had already been managed by participatory budgeting since 2015 by the Association, but that the next step to build is the one that is still on hold.
In a note for UNO Entre Ríos, Agustín mentions that the sports stage will be located in the port area, a space known as "La Costera" and "El Espinillo" so that it can be found throughout the sports environment, between the hockey rink, the velodrome, Lanús and Regatas. As emphasized by the skater, it is a beautiful environment so that the seed of what will be an Olympic rink can be planted. The future skateboarding complex will be under the supervision of the ASCU and will have the endorsement of the Argentine Skating Federation, Agustín said for this report.
Letting these processes continue will allow ideas such as La Escuelita (the school) to continue running and connecting new skaters to a future where they can represent not only the province but also the country. "The skating school is very important since it allows many children to get into skateboarding and get positive experiences through the learning from instructors, it also promotes the development of the local seedbed, the idea is that in the future we would have a skatepark that respects certain measures and technical conditions, it's being able to position representatives of being on the national skateboarding team and that girls and boys can express themselves through this sport, which today is still a very stigmatized modality in the country, unlike others sports and activities. ”Prati concludes about La Escuelita.
There are quite a few projects ahead for this organization, even in these times of a global pandemic, it's managers will be in charge of keeping the sports scene active in their city and that young people get to spend their free time in spaces of free expression such as public skateparks. Concepción as a city has already enabled outdoor physical activity spaces, as long as social distances are respected. "Physical activity out in open air and gyms have already been allowed, and skateboarding isn't a contact sport, this solidarity session would not go against the protocols that must be respected”, Agustin highlights, regarding the meeting called.
Prati also highlights that there will be several alternatives for low-income athletes, among them is the creation of their own board factory, “We also have all the tools to build the Association's board factory project with which students from the school would make their own boards at very low board cost, making skateboards easily accessible to all who want to practice it, ”said the Argentine skater. This goal will give low-income skaters access to skateboarding and the possibility to focus on skating rather than a lack of resources..
I'm sure we'll be kept in the loop with how the process unfolds and that this turns into a positive case with the construction of what the skaters in this city needs to perform their sport and build their community. We also hope this article serves as inspiration to other communities that are striving to make a case for their own skateparks and infrastructure.