News / Asia

Burmese Skateboarders Lobby for Official Recognition

Burmese Skateboarders Lobby for Official Recognitioni
X
March 26, 2013 12:30 PM
A small community of skateboarders in Rangoon, who lost their skate park four years ago, has made a film to try to promote their dream of building a replacement. VOA reports on the creative effort to get skateboarding recognized as an official sport in Burma.
VOA News
A small community of skateboarders in Rangoon, who lost their skate park four years ago, has made a film to try to promote their dream of building a replacement. The creative effort to get skateboarding recognized as an official sport in Burma.

The Speed Ring Skate Club, comprise of 20 young Burmese with a passion for skateboarding in a country where skateboards are rare.

The skaters first learned their tricks at this park. But four years ago it was destroyed, for reasons that are not entirely clear. Now, these skaters have a choice of perfecting their skills on poorly paved and crowded streets or making a five hour journey to the remote capital, Naypyitaw, where Japanese donors built a skate park hundreds of kilometers from the nearest skaters.

Akar Bo says the distance means he rarely visits. "We need a good place to skateboard. They should have built this in Rangoon," he added.

The group has taken matters into their own hands, making a film about their cause that they hope will win over officials - and draw more aspiring skaters to their ranks.  

Filmmaker Ali Drummond, a skateboarder from Britain who was saddened by the loss of the Rangoon skate park, says the film has helped them believe their goal is achievable.

"This is Myanmar [Burma].  No one is going to sponsor us as skateboarders. And, in the past, no one has shown any interest in them.  In fact, they'd actually just shown hostility toward them as a group of people," Drummond said. "So they had no belief in themselves that anyone was going to help them from Myanmar. So I think this film essentially changed that to a certain extent."

To get approval to build a new skate park, the skaters must become an officially recognized sporting federation by the sports ministry.

Former sports ministry director general Aung Din is already a supporter of their cause. "Of course skateboarding needs a park, so they can exercise and participate and become in fellowship and meet each other.  But, first of all we need the blessing from the sports ministry so they can help us out," explained Aung Din.

The skaters hope to win permission for at least a temporary park when Burma hosts the Southeast Asian Games in December. There, the exposure could help persuade officials and introduce a new generation of Burmese to the sport.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid