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Youmanity reports on a most innovative and engaging youth project being pioneered in sunny Jamaica.
Flipping Youth - the name of the project - aims to provide young people an appealing pastime - one that many young people around the world enjoy: Skateboarding!
The project will provide young skateboarders in Jamaica with world standard facilities where they can hone their skills in a safe environment. The lack of opportunities to pursue this sport may be exacerbated by issues related to economics and infrastructure but Skateboarding is due to debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and young Jamaicans will, no doubt, welcome the opportunity to participate (remember the famous Jamaican bobsleigh team of 1988? Lack of snow back home couldn’t keep them down!).
Flipping Youth was born out of some unhappy statistics. Jamaica has the 6th highest homicide rate in the world. Violence arising from drug rivalries or other criminality can make the capital of Kingston a dangerous place for vulnerable young people to grow up in.
Providing an alternative to hanging around on the streets, was at the heart of the founder’s heartfelt project. With five years experience, countering youth-related criminality and working with vulnerable young people, police officer William Willson knows how important it is to offer young people a fun occupation. This is how ‘Flipping Youth’ was created as an important charity project. But “Why Jamaica?” one might ask.
“There are currently no skateparks in Jamaica, compared to places like the UK and USA, who are lucky enough to have 1000's each. There is already a growing community of young people around Kingston and St Andrews who actively participate in skateboarding on a regular basis, but have no proper facilities to practice their hobby”, says Willson - a keen action sportsman himself.
Sadly, one of the young men Willson met whilst he was in Kingston was shot before this project was even launched. Andre ‘Wildfyah’ Thompson is in fact featured in the promo film as poignant reminder of how important this project really is.
Flipping Youth uses skateboarding, inline skating, BMX'ing, scootering and surfing to transform the lives of people in a community, particularly young people, by creating dynamic new paths to self-confidence and responsibility for each other and their environment. The personal challenges offered by action sports create enjoyment through learning how to overcome obstacles and use energy creatively.
“Our project would like to build Jamaica's first skatepark, after raising enough funds. We intend to use volunteers from around the world to come together and build a permanent concrete facility for the community of Kingston to enjoy for years to come. We intend to build a small community centre at the sight and incorporate surfing with the usual wheeled skatepark sports”, added Jofie Trythall, the project’s co-founder.
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More about the project HERE
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