By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
The Jamaican skateboarding community is working to bring more opportunities for the natives there. Due to skateboarding now being an olympic sport, governments around the world are responding to it and looking at what they will do with it, and in Jamaica it seems like it's leading to some nice skateboarding developments.
Jamaica is a Caribbean country and island nation. Its capital is Kingston and you probably know about it, especially if you love reggae music. The Island is part of Central America and is close to both Cuba and Haiti.
Even though this place is amazing and highlights the beauty of the world, the skateboarding community here is small and there is just one skatepark called Freedom Skatepark. So this year, the Jamaica Skateboard Federation have started a project to build the ‘Reggae Skatepark’, with it they will honor their music culture and build with it a new sport community to join the island.
For sure, in Jamaiaca there are leaders and skaters that want to help those who are gifted and talented to represent their island, however they also want to promote the sport locally and increase the number of skaters there.
This means that they will need to make an effort job to get enough boards for the Jamaican kids and prepare for the new skateboarding generations. That's why the foundation Boards for Bros decided to take part of this positive change that will help a lot of kids in Jamaica to experience the world in a new way through skateboarding.
A Nonprofit Organization from SPoT
Boards for Bros is a social project by Skatepark of Tampa. This initiative began in 2006 as they started collecting boards and refurbishing them to distribute to the youth. Then in 2014 they decided to turn into a nonprofit organization to make a bigger impact, where they could provide not just skateboards but also spots and mentoring for the entire community.https://www.instagram.com/p/CE131LfnrAj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
With this project, they inspired skateboarders to become volunteers and bring their own old skateboards to donate equipment or manage a project of their own. 4 years ago, the non-profit extended their model and made the mission national, so now they have chapters in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and California as well as Tampa.
"The magic of a skateboard is that it's a mode of transportation in addition to being a tool for play, for discovery, and to help develop physical skill, a tool to interact with others who share an interest in skateboarding, a tool to teach problem-solving and a tool to teach perseverance. It is good for the mind and the body. It is fun. It can change someone’s life," the nonprofit organization said on its official website.
Boards for Bros are now working together with the Jamaica Skateboard Federation to realize the project to build the skatepark in Jamaica. Lately they have been receiving donations and support from the whole world.
This organization believes that if you want a skateboard you should be able to get one, so they committed to donate 100 skateboards to the new community, so the skatepark will have 100 new skateboarders for the start.
Kingston, Jamaica and its Future Reggae Skatepark
Steve Douglas is the president of the Jamaica Skateboard Federation. According to Tampa Bay News, Douglas' first skateboard was improvised out of cardboard and spare roller skate parts, since that first board he kept skating his entire life. “Somebody told me, ‘You build a skate park and it will save Jamaica’,” said Douglas. To him this is true, because kids and youth don't have many options in Jamaica.
Steve has assured the land in Kingston that it will be called Reggae Skatepark, but the resources to build it are too expensive so now the community is asking for support through GoFundMe.
The Federations president knows that skateboarding will inspire kids away from voilence and drugs towards hope. Kingston place has a national skateboarding team to participate in the olympics but they still don't really have a place to train for it.
Probably the fact that pandemic has delayed the olympics will give them a chance to build the skatepark and be prepared to compete and confront any skatepark outside Jamaica.
Since the pandemic has caused the olympics to be rescheduled until 2021, the Jamaican national team now has a fighting chance to get to the olympics with enough time to prepare beforehand.
"The Reggae Skate park impact will provide and fill the desire for the youths to participate in healthy activities. But due to the pandemic the Reggae Skate Park has construction start has been delayed, but we are grateful for a donation that will reflect your support in building it," the federation said on their GoFundMe profile.
The skatepark is called Reggae skatepark due to the music influence in this country, specifically with Trench Town Kingston Jamaica, "it is the most cultural musical influence in Jamaica due to being the birthplace and home of many famous Reggae Musicians including the King of Reggae Music, Bob Marley," the project explained too.
Skateboarding is the proof that humanity can be united to help each other and provide new opportunities to those who need it the most. This sport has taught us a lot and is a clear example that we can surpass our fears to become better people. We hope this project can be fulfilled soon.
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