A year ago, it was announced that skateboarding will be included at the Olympics. It’s now barely three years to this sport’s debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, yet most African countries hardly have a skateboarding culture. However, various groups and organizations are working to up the game on the continent.
In Ethiopia, the cause is being championed by Ethiopia Skate, a grassroots community working to empower youth by providing access to skateboarding materials and creating skate spots. Three years on and they're slowly actualizing this in the country.
The lack of an easily accessible skate spot in Addis Ababa made them construct Ethiopia’s first and only free-of-charge public skate park, Addis Skatepark, in 2016. Currently, over 150 skateboarders utilize the space.
To the community, it’s not all about having fun though; it’s also about bringing people together. So, occasionally, Ethiopia Skate organizes competitions in which amateur skateboarders get to participate and network with the professionals.
In addition, they bring in foreign volunteers who help hone the skills of the young skateboarders. And, on weekends, the Ethiopia Skate crew travel out to other cities where they hold skating sessions and create awareness of the sport.
Ethiopia is currently best known for middle-distance and long-distance running. With this thriving skateboarding culture, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the country topping the international skateboarding rankings in the future.
Keep up with Ethiopia Skate on Instagram.