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Extreme sports and development


Extreme sports and development

Despite their dramatic categorisation, sports such as climbing, skiing, skateboarding, skate soccer and surfing are being used in development projects around the world.

Mountaineering for intercultural dialogue
Everest Peace Project

The Everest Peace Project is a peace organisation that consists of individuals who have come together to promote peace, teamwork, and cultural understanding, and to show that people from diverse cultural backgrounds and faiths can unite and accomplish incredible things.

This project recently united Palestinian, Israeli and other people from various faiths and cultures to scale Mount Everest.

Winter sports for all
Several organisations are working to develop opportunities for the blind, visually impaired and disabled to experience winter sports.

The Agitos Foundation IPC Winter Youth Camp on 24 March 2012 in La Cerdanya, Spain, concluded with the aim to develop paralympic winter sports in Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

Blindspot works to break down barriers between sight-impaired and fully sighted young people, and has run successful snowboarding courses and climbing camps in Switzerland to bring partially sighted and blind youngsters together with those with normal sight.

Snow Tiger project (Austria)
This project is the first of its kind in Austria, and is aimed at kids and young people with a disability. The aim is to enable the kids to access winter sports activities, which are usually very difficult for them to engage in. But as well as allowing the kids and young people with mental and physical disabilities to enjoy an active lifestyle which benefits their health, the aim is also to teach them about important values such as self-confidence and team spirit.

Rock-climbing for development
Rock Climbing Association (RAD)
R-A-D is a Swiss based organisation, helping communities harness the potential for rock climbing as a sport for development. They have worked with the climbing community in Lebanon to open up local climbing areas to encourage sustainable economic growth through increased tourism.

La Muralla
Based in Uruguay, La Muralla is a sport climbing centre that coordinates and runs climbing programs for Down Syndrome children and for high risk young people. These programs are geared toward young people who have no access to any physical education courses or activities.

Blindspot tries to achieve this by breaking down barriers between sight-impaired and fully sighted young people. For example Blindspot has run highly successful snowboarding courses and climbing camps to bring partially sighted and blind youngsters together with those with normal sight.

Extreme disability sport
Skate Soccer
This form of soccer has been played almost exclusively in West African countries since the first game in 1988 in Lagos, Nigeria. Skate Soccer is played in small teams using makeshift rollers and using hands to pass and shoot. Essentially an extreme form of the world’s favourite game, Skate Soccer is a special sport with enormous appeal that could potentially open up opportunities for people all over the world. 

Surfing makes waves to promote development and change
Several organisations around the world are helping young people to develop surfing skills alongside life skills, promoting development in communities around the world.

Burra jurra surfing program (Australia)
The aim of the Burra jurra surfing program is to promote surfing and positive lifestyle choices for local Aboriginal youth, and the wider Aboriginal Bundjalung nation.

Skateboarding for youth development
‘Skateistan’ is an independent, neutral Afghan NGO that works with youth from a range of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds to build trust and provide empowerment through a unique combination of skateboarding and educational activities. It is currently expanding internationally to Cambodia.

Indigo Youth Movement (Durban)
The new project is a development of a programme that was started eight years ago by Dallas Oberholzer to provide rural communities with opportunities to learn English and Maths, to interact with more advantaged young people from the city and to develop life skills and confidence through skateboarding.

The Indigo Youth Movement is the brainchild of Dallas Oberholzer, whose background in international skating competitions inspired him to create opportunities for young people to learn about skateboarding. The project has introduced young people to skateboarding and created an opportunity to increase the youngsters’ life-skills and self-confidence.


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Alister Bignell


Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 23:30