With a growing rate of 166% per year, significantly more than any other sport or leisure activity, the fastest growing activity in America is not football, basketball or baseball, but skateboarding.
Skateboarding has grown from a sub-culture to one of the biggest activities in multiple regions of the world. Still, skate parks are hugely under-represented in extensive areas of the world.
As skateboarding enters the Olympics it has grown from a sub-culture to one of the biggest activities in the developed world. Still, skate parks are hugely under-represented in the developing world.
Our mission is to help fill that gap - to reach an audience that wouldn’t normally be presented with the opportunities we provide. We are out to prove as follows: Skateboarding is one of the most empowering activities in the world, and it will continue to be so. Skateboarding has substantial meaning and there are, in fact, a range of steps we can take to ensure the most possible children end up on a skateboard.
Every child may not have access to skateboarding yet, but it’s central to affirm that the concept of a more meaningful life through skateboarding is eminently plausible and that it comprises elements that can be clearly named and fought for.
Access to healthy activities and play is not a luxury, it's a necessity.
WHO WE ARE
WAW is an international and independent non-profit organization built to help make skateboarding accessible worldwide, by developing skateparks in areas of the world where they are not present and support the communities pivoting around the facilities. We've had the fortune of delivering 14 international projects throughout the developing world, in collaboration with local communities. Our team extends to international volunteers from diverse professional backgrounds.
By developing these public and free spaces, we wish to empower and provide our local partners with the continuous support needed for them to form their own organizations, and independently and successfully manage the facilities, offering the best outcome and defining the statement ‘It’s their park’.
A free skateboard loaner program is installed at every skatepark and skate programs are being held, ensuring everyone with free, safe, and equal access to use of their skatepark.
Through our professional experiences coupled with our personal skateboarding backgrounds, we wanted to deliver these positive outcomes to an audience that wouldn’t normally have the opportunity. We look forward to continuing to share these wonders around the world.
It’s easy to play it tough, to encourage overdo independence, but we all rely heavily on others. Too many children around the world are not presented with the opportunities they should be offered. Often surrounded by people much older, who follow traditions that have been in place for decades, even centuries. Skateparks give children a free and safe space to escape to, to come together, and develop in an unstructured and supportive place of their own. Children around the world depend on agents of justice to take action, for them to strive. We are confident, of our ability to play our part in youth development in the developing world and however modestly, change its course for the children around the world.
Beyond developing skateparks in the developing world, our mission is to furthermore provide our local partners with the skills, knowledge and experience to not only run programs and one day build their own facilities, but inspire them and provide the support needed for them to start their own organizations. Our goal is not to become some kind of worldwide franchise but quite the contrary: we want to do what we can to set people free, to pursue their own dreams. Ideally we will provide them with the motivation and support, to move us more and more out of the picture and build up a self substained culture pivoting around skateboarding and the benefits it brings to the marginalized youth around the world.
WE'VE BEEN FORTUNATE TO DEVELOP AND DELIVER SKATEPARKS WITH AND FOR WONDERFUL CLIENTS
AROUND THE WORLD
"Wonders Around the World embody a rare and powerful coalition of hard work and fun. Not even the early completion of the project was enough to quell their dedication to the project, as they began imagining new obstacles and creating beautiful concrete murals and sculptures. It’s a testament to the love these guys have for skateboarding, investing more and more of themselves in the communities they work with and bring skateboarding to them in an approachable and fun way. Wonders gave the school, girls and community around Small Steps for Compassion the best skatepark they could possibly give. It matches and often supersedes the kind of facility you’d expect to find in the west. It’s being adopted with open arms, wild bravery and a grateful community of new and old skaters in Tanzania and overseas. Thanks you so much."
Corrinne Pickle, Director.
Small Steps for Compassion
"The skatepark is the best thing that have happend to us. When I grow up I want to become a skateboard mentor."
Sabah, 9 year old skateboarder.
"The skatepark was a dream for us. Before we were playing on the streets, which could be dangerous for us. We are very happy because we have the skatepark in our city and as girls we are trying to get other girls to start skating. Suli skatepark helped us and other girls develop confidence in ourselves. At first, it was only a small number of girls skating, but now a larger number of girls have started skating."
Amna, Fatma and Riam. Skateboarders.
Suli Skate Girls
"The non-profit organisation Wonders Around The World company have decades of experience and numerous references in the field of skatepark construction. It should be highlighted that they gladly involve the local youth during the constructions, and with that they transfer their construction knowledge to the following generations.
The skatepark they constructed in Budapest is a big success. We would highly recommend Wonders Around the World team because they have an excellent attitude in both expertise and in their community work. Working with them was a pleasure and we are all happy and proud we made this dream come true, together."
Marta Kallay, President.
The Hungarian Skateboard Federation.
"My life changed when the skatepark was built in Maxaquene. It's nice for all the children, because
the streets are not always safe for us. Now we have a safe place we can go to and play every day."
Pedro, 8 year old skateboarder.
ASM. Maxaquene Skatepark.
"Wonders Around The World was the greatest happening in our tiny community, Boston District, Jamaica in September 2019. They didn't hesitate when asked to come and build the skatepark at the Boston Community Center, enabling our skate and bike culture to become what it should have years ago. The team was most impressive in their efforts, building our park in just a month. They were a pleasure to work alongside and we all look forward to each individual's visit in the future. We thank you.
Darryl Munroe, Youth Leader.
Boston Community Centre
I first heard about the skatepark when my friend told me there were foreigners working on something near my house, we were really excited to see what they were doing. Usually I would go straight home after school but on this day I decided to go to the skatepark to speak with the foreigners. Here I met the wonder team, they told me all about skateboarding and skateparks. From then I was going to the skatepark everyday. Now I've got my own skateboard and I volunteer at the skatepark. I skate, help organise classes for beginners and work as a translator for the foreigners who come to the park. I now have amazing friends from all over the world.The skatepark has helped me come out of my shell, I’m now socialising outside everyday
Wassim, Skate Mentor.
"Before I knew about the skatepark I didn't have many friends. Now I have many at the skatepark and I am very happy about it. We skate every day and help each other to get better "
Binsa, 12 year old skateboarder.
"The skatepark is more than a miracle. The experience I get everyday alongside hundreds of learners has changed my view on the world and mankind. I have met with the most random and different thinkers and learnt a whole new perspective of the way we associate and mingle. It has increased social skills and made me understand that no matter what I should keep pushing. We are more than grateful for WAW opening up a new chapter for us and mapped Tanzania into the skate community all around the world. We will never ever forget what you have done for us. Skateboarding has given all of us a purpose, to go further in life by progressing every single day."
Gilliard Godson, Skate Mentor.
Small Steps for Compassion
Mozambique's first skatepark was built in 2019 with the help of Wonders Around The World. After the completion the new stage of skateboarding in Mozambique has begun. This project is bringing daily activities for those children that in past didn't have a safe place to play. I am thankfull for all volunteers that made this dream come true. The skate of education program have 150 students registered that come all days include weekends to skate. WAW did an amazing skatepark for the children, who now we have a free and safe place to play
Francisco Vinho, Founder.
HOW SKATEBOARDING IMPROVES LIFE QUALITY AROUND THE WORLD
Activity is vital to the holistic development of young people, fostering their physical, social and emotional health. Unlike most sports, which emphasize winning and competition, skateboarding is an unstructured activity where people of all body types, ages, genders, and backgrounds can feel welcome. Skateboarding values creativity, diversity, mentorship, moral character and fun above all else. Skateparks provides the youth with the opportunity to create real organic friendships that transcend nationality, class, religion and cultural background.
Play does not only allow people to come up with unique approaches but also allow individuals to express themselves in a unique and creative way. In skateboarding there are no divisions, leagues, weight classes, or teams. Skateboarding teaches you that in order to succeed you have to fail. You have to push yourself into the unknown and to the limit of your capabilities in order to one day master something. Skateboarding teaches you about life, about self-development, discipline, and creativity. There is no better way to obtain that than through having fun with your friends.
The return on investment in a skatepark is incredible. Outcomes of the inherent social and health benefits of active play, from a facility that costs almost nothing to run and maintain. This is a stark contrast to the majority of sports facilities presented to the youth around the world, all of which have higher staffing and physical maintenance needs than a durable concrete skatepark. Most importantly they are free for all members of the community to use. Our experience shows that skateparks offer a long term installation for a minimal investment.
Research shows that through skateboarding, skaters develop the ability to communicate and build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds:
“Our research shows that through skateboarding, skaters develop the ability to communicate and build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds,”
A first-of-its-kind study of skateboarding culture reveals that skateboarding improves mental health:
"The vast majority of skaters surveyed indicated they skateboard for fun and/or to relieve stress. This finding takes on great significance in light of teen suicide rates and the prevalence of depression."
Groundbreaking study redefines skateboarding culture:
"Skaters are excellent critical thinkers and problem-solvers who view success from a more communal perspective. They bring that insight into other areas of their lives, which is valuable to any university or organization.”
"Skateparks represent one outlet that can address a growing problem of youth inactivity. In addition, integrated urban skate spots are also seen to provide a legitimate, inclusive space for young people who share a common interest to gather, relax, recreate, socialize and express themselves in a safe and informal environment’ while participating in an activity that is important to them."
such as skateparks are great places for kids to interact with one another and build vital social and interpersonal skills.
When a skatepark is built, a community develops around it. This community gives them a valuable sense of belonging. When they show up to the skatepark, race, gender and age are all thrown out the window.
Skate parks act as an important social space for young people: "Research supports the notion that skate parks not only provide a venue for leisure and physical activity but can act as an important social space for young people. Young people who hang out there practice a range of pro-social behaviors and life skills critical for social development and resilience."
OUR AMBASSADORS REPRESENTS OUR ROOTS AND THE GROWTH OF SKATEBOARDING THROUGH MULTIPLE GENERATIONS
He’s as down to earth as they get. As a product of Byrggeriet Skateboard High School in Malmö, Sweden, Oski has become more than just a graduate, he’s emblematic of a new breed of skateboarding. He is skateboarding 2.0 if full effecy, showing the impact of skateboarders today growing up and raised with access to a wide variety of skateparks. It’s his ability to make a single clip more memorable than an entire video that’s so magnetic about his light-footed spontaneity. Even in his dominant contest runs, there’s a sense that he’s orchestrating individual notes that feel right, with his light-footed spontaneity, not striving for winning, which nevertheless also happens at an impressive clip and frequency.
Another Bryggeriet Skateboard High School alum with academic knowledge of street influenced transition skateboarding. From school to the park to the streets and the world, he's energized by travel and anyone who gets to come along feeds off his positivity and pure love of skateboarding. Fernando has an obvious aura of star quality. His humble style and confidence shine through in everything he does. A natural would be an understatement, Fernando has always approcahed things in his own and shines bright light everywhere he goes.
To build a skatepark you need to have an innate understanding of creativity and flow. Hugo Boserup, brings that comprehension to the fore whether he’s building skateparks or ripping through them with his fast, hard-charging style. While the transition may be where his specialty lies, Hugo’s all-terrain skills and a sunny personality are never in short supply.
Widely recognized as one of the most stylish and advanced vert skaters in the world, Rune Glifberg is capable of launching the most all-out impressive assault upon any kind of tranny situation you can think of. From low-key sessions in tight backyard pools and skateparks, to claiming major contest wins in front of huge crowds on enormous halfpipes, it’s safe to say that Rune has the vertical situation under control. Rune’s incredible skating, coupled with his friendly and often very funny personality, has earned him recognition as one of the most respected and admired skaters working today.
"Today, Nicky is still going strong at the tender age of 52, having fun around his home town of Copenhagen and competing in various Masters - a league for skaters over 40. He designed his first pro-model at the age of 18 back in 1987. In 1989, he became an instant icon when he signed with Powell Peralta’s Bones Brigade alongside teammates Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain and Rodney Mullen. Nicky paved the way for European skaters internationally. His old team mate, Tony Hawk, emphasized Nicky’s tenacity: “To some skaters, turning pro is the ultimate stature and they tend to lose their motivation once they acquire it. But Nicky continued to challenge himself and it only made him better. I think his skateboarding style is smooth, fluid and technical. He makes the hard tricks look easy. We’re the same age and we haven’t stop skating. It’s in our DNA; we can’t quit.”