This group of youngsters are part of a skateboarding programme that takes place at the City of Cape Town’s Valhalla Skate Park. It forms part of the afterschool and Early Childhood Development programmes at the recreational hub. The City’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities (SRA) Department and the Indigo Youth Movement recently concluded a partnership agreement that allows Indigo to provide training in life skills and skateboarding to the youth of Valhalla Park and surrounding areas.The programme has also employed four local talented youth through the Expanded Public Works Programme who assist with teaching the participants skateboarding skills, but more importantly life skills and relationship-building skills. The programme covers other aspects such as arts and culture, where the youth are encouraged to express positive thoughts through art, based on what they have learned from the programme. In addition, they are taught photography and filming skills.
‘As we celebrate Youth Month, it is quite an appropriate time to commend this group of young people for being part of this pilot programme. One of the objectives of this programme is to provide a circle of support and to give a sense of belonging to the youth in the area. This in turn will help to discourage anti-social behaviour, develop young leaders within the community and decrease the number of school dropouts. We need to provide our young people with alternatives to keep them occupied and away from social ills,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker.
This programme has promoted skills transfer all around. The SRA Department play leaders participated in a train-the-trainer programme which has seen them become adept at running effective skateboarding programmes in their communities.
‘Our vision is to expand this programme to various other recreation hubs across the city. I would like to thank VANS Footwear for coming on board and sponsoring each child with a brand new pair of VANS kicks. The smiles on those faces were heart-warming. My message to the group of young people is that they must continue to promote skateboarding and grow the sport in their community. They should go out and encourage their peers to get on board and be a part of the programme,’ added Alderman Walker.