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Kovalam Skate Club: No school, no skating

With providing free skateboarding and peer tot peer lessons after school timings and in the weekends, with as coach our passionate skateboarder and old-student Vineeth, SISP motivates the school drop-outs to come to the centre and/or to continue their education. The principle here is: “No school, no skating!".

The last school year, our Skate Club has been doing very well! As we have a ‘core’ group of students who are with us since the beginning, we have seen many new faces as well. It’s great to see their performances, how motivated they are to learn new skills and how they help each other to become better. Our slogan ‘Keep trying!’ says enough; this is a story of 9 times falling and 1 time succeeding, of strength, will, motivation and not giving up! Nowadays we have over 20 students coming for skateboarding at weekdays from 4-6 pm (after school) and over 35 students coming for skateboarding at Saturdays and Sundays. We keep trying to attract more girls for the skateboarding. At the moment we have around 8 girls coming on a regular base, but we don’t give up to make a small change towards woman empowerment! 7 school drop-out kids re-joined their education motivated by our Skate Club.

Europe skateboarding tour We would like you to meet Sujin, a boy from the poor fishermen’s village Vizhinjam. A few years ago he got in touch with SISP, before his life was different. School didn’t look important and here it is very easy to drop out as nobody really motivates students to go to school; children start working at a very young age, to help their family in their daily struggle to survive. With our principal ‘No school, No skating’ the kids have a good motivation to come to school on a regular base. As long as they go to school and work hard, they can come for skating after school and during the weekends. SISP provides them of a safe learning environment, a free lunch in the weekends, new friends, new inspiration and most of all a lot of fun! How beautiful can it be :)

A lot of kids are really talented, so is Sujin. Some of the members of the Skate Club went in November 2016 for a competition to Janwaar Castle, Madhya Pradesh. A big competition where many skaters from India gathered to have fun, exchange skills and tricks, to make new friends, to compete and overall to have a great experience and unforgettable time!

Sujin won the first price as best all-round skateboarder and was invited together with the best 2 skateboarders from Janwaar, to go to Europe in September 2017! For 5 weeks these boys will visit different skate parks in Germany, France and Spain, to learn more about the (skateboarding) culture in Europe, to experience new tastes, to skate different parks and improve their skateboarding skills. This will be a very crazy adventure for these boys, something they could only dream of!

Sujin is an example for other students – boys and girls – that dreams can come true!

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