Asria Al Shamalyia, Palestine

Palestine
About the project

In September 2015, together with UK organisation Skatepal and a team volunteers from around the world we successfully lead the construction on Palestine’s largest skatepark; located in the village of Asria Al Shamalyia, just north of Nablus.

Working together with both the Palestinian House of Friendship and the local Council we were able to positively introduce skateboarding into the village as an alternative form of expression. We were also able to implement it into the local high school’s P.E lessons to sustainably develop the local skateboarding scene along with the donations of numerous skateboards and safety equipment.

SkatePAL, a charity established in Scotland in 2012 designs and implements projects concerning the development of skateboarding in the West Bank and promotes skateboarding as an inclusive and empowering sport for the young people of Palestine’s West Bank. SkatePAL has local Palestinian skateboard instructors who both represent the charity and facilitate the growth of skateboarding on the ground in Palestine.

Due to the political situation in Palestine, areas such as sport and art are often underfunded and neglected. Exercise is a crucial element of the health and well being of young people, and unlike many other sports, skateboarding is one where people of all abilities and ages practice together and encourage each other to keep pushing themselves. There is a spirit of inclusivity and mutual support in skateboarding communities around the world. We place a great importance on teaching both sexes, as girls are often excluded from traditionally "male" sports in Palestine. Despite our focus being primarily on young people, our activities are accessible to all meaning that all members of the local communities stand to benefit from our work

A big thank you to Wade Trevean at Sevenbythree for his assistance and expertise in finalising the design of the skatepark.

For a full overview of the project stage by stage, visit our blog on skateboard.com.au.