At its core is an honorable mission to offer young people with bleak futures and troubled pasts a cheap and alternative activity to engage positively with each other by cutting across ethnic and socio-economic rifts. Sophie Friedel, a professional mountain boarder and a friend of Finisterre who did work experience with the brand, has been grafting hard with the Skateistan team in Kabul to pass on her love of skate to the youth of the war torn country.
Sophie has been updating the Finisterre team on progress; “The Skate Park is going great – we finally managed to get control of the flow of students and the regular classes set ups. Sometimes lots of kids turn up and things are pretty crowded and other days, like after a terrible day we had last week on Monday, people were scared and stayed at home. But life goes on and things are quickly returning back to normal. Class is always well attended but we have a waiting list of 200 kids.”
The classes that are always taught by both a foreign and a local teacher are divided between equal time in class and outside instruction in the newly created skate park. Classes focus on teamwork, peace building, safety, learning new languages, and more. The band of committed instructors who have their motorcycles piled high with skateboards, helmets and kneepads are standing defiant by offering some hope and escape from years of fighting and poverty.
Via sketchy satellite phones and email, the Finisterre team has been leasing with Sophie to offer their support back in the U.K. Tom Podkalinski, Finisterre’s design director remarked; “After Sophie finished her work experience at Finisterre she decided, that she was going to push her love for skate and work with children. Before we knew it she had jumped on a plane and she’s now in Kabul, bringing kids education and teaching them some skills on a skateboard – she’s a great inspiration and we’re supporting her all the way. We wanted to show our support, so sent some of our merino base layers, and we’re working on plans for future support. It’s the least we could do.”
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