Austrian shredder Juergen Gritzner has set out to make an incremental change in the lives of 100 Cubans by bringing 100 skateboards to the island to give away.
For decades, Cuba has had limited access to western lifestyle sports through crippling trade embargoes imposed during the Cold War. Juergen feels that the act of skateboarding has empowered him as he grew from adolescent into adulthood and believes that his sense of community and self-esteem are directly related to his many hours and years rolling through the streets of Vienna and mountains of Austria.
Where one is born has a huge impact on the opportunities that await a human existence and Juergen knows how little people have to struggle in Austria to achieve the basic subsidence compared to virtually everywhere else on the planet. His goal is to use his good fortune achieved through the simple act of skateboarding and pay it forward.
Juergen and his board sponsor KebbeK Skateboards of Canada have teamed up with Skateboards for Hope, a not-for-profit organisation based in Montreal to ship 100 complete Juergen Gritzner pro-model boards to Havana to be given out in the first two weeks of 2016.
The objective is to provide an alternative form of clean and healthy transportation to adolescents and young adults in Cuba. By providing these boards, Juergen hopes to help people be able to get to and from university or work and of course engage in thrill that skateboarding gives him.
Skateboard for Hope is organising the events with the help of the Longboarding for Peace Movement in the New Year in and around Havana with local advocates. Both organisations work to create an oasis of trust and freedom for children, so they can get inspired to become strong leaders in their communities.
With this donation from Kebbek, Skateboards for Hope will see the creation of their first skateboard school in Havana and Juergen will be more than happy to inaugurate the school by giving away his pro model.
is a manufacturer of skateboards based in Canada founded in 1992 by Ian Comishin. For this project they will be donating over $20,000 worth of equipment and 10 000$ in flights, accommodations and meals.
Longboarding for Peace
(LFP) is a movement of peace, balance and justice powered by skateboarders. It was founded by Concrete Wave Magazine publisher Michael Brooke as a vessel for change. It currently operates in over 25 countries with a volunteer “army of peace.” LFP helps co-ordinate delivery of skateboards from a number of generous companies. LFP will flying Betty Esperanza down to Cuba for this trip where she will be teaching the curriculum that has been created specifically for students. A detailed story about the trip will be appearing in the March issue of Concrete Wave.
Skateboards for Hope
gives underprivileged children the tools to break the cycle of poverty. Recycled and reused skateboards, longboards and equipment are donated to youth all over the world to promote and teach them the message of community, collaboration and trust. Founder, Betty Esperanza lives her dream through this amazing project; Using skateboards as a tool for hope to build sustainable community projects for youth all over the world.
is helping out with the transportation of the equipment.
We will keep you posted about this project.
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