Skateistan has won the International Olympic Committee’s Women in Sport World Award for its work empowering girls through skateboarding and education. Skateistan won the World Award, while five other organizations won regional awards. The winners were selected by the IOC Women in Sport Commission, who recognized their efforts in developing and encouraging women’s and girls’ participation in sport.
“Each project is a lifelong commitment to advancing gender equality on and off the field of play,”IOC President Thomas Bach said
as the winners were announced.
“We are celebrating their great contributions in a year in which the Olympic Games will be gender balanced for the first time, with equal numbers of male and female athletes competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”IOC President Thomas Bach said
Skateistan is an award-winning, international NGO, which seeks to empower children through skateboarding and creative education. Founded in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2008, the organization now has four Skate Schools in three countries (Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa) and reaches around 2,500 children each week. Half of these students are girls and Skateistan puts girls’ empowerment at the center of its work.
Skateistan Founder and Executive Director, Oliver Percovich, will formally receive the award later this year. He said of the announcement:
“This is for all the girls in Afghanistan who were brave enough to step on my skateboard back in 2007. This award is going to create more opportunities for girls in Afghanistan as well as other countries where it is so difficult for them to access sport and education.”Oliver Percovich
The announcement comes as the world marks International Women’s Day, which is celebrated at each of Skateistan’s Skate Schools. Skateistan, following on from the Oscar-winning documentary Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl) has chosen to focus on its Back-to-School program in Kabul to highlight the importance of girls’ education.