Flipping Youth aims to empower young people from challenging environments internationally through action sports, creative arts and entrepreneurship. We shall use action sports as a tool to connect young people through the challenge of overcoming obstacles and socially mixing in a positive environment, free from class discrimination or racial inequality. As part of our commitment to sustainable development, our projects will promote youth entrepreneurship, encouraging young people to learn employability skills and test out their business ideas.
We are currently campaigning to build Jamaica’s first skatepark in Kingston, which will provide the dedicated skateboard community of Kingston with a safe facility to practice their beloved sport. Jamaica has the 4th highest homicide rate in the world and a serious issue with gang violence, so we intend for the skatepark to act as a diversionary method for preventing young people joining gangs. Now that skateboarding has been announced as an official Olympic sport to debut at Tokyo 2020, we want the young people of Kingston to have access to a skatepark when they see pro-skaters hit the big screen next year! The skatepark will have a small community centre attached, providing a platform for the skaters to take ownership of the facility, teaching workshops or hosting events.
Build a permanent concrete skatepark in the East Kingston community of Harbour View by 2020, which will be open for public use and free of charge.
Encourage the participation of under-represented groups within action sports, including women and those with disabilities, through targeted needs-focussed workshops.
Provide a platform for members of the skatepark association to earn a wage through teaching workshops, hosting creative events and trialling their business ideas.
We shall adopt a youth-led approach to our development, which will encourage young people to take ownership of the skatepark and ensure its sustainability.
“Jamaica in its natural state is a beauty, let’s evolve to the next level by giving the youth a sanctuary for skateboarding. Peace. ”
Tony Alva | Skateboarding legend
During a trip to Jamaica in late 2016, it became clear to the Flipping Youth team that the island known globally for its reggae music and superhuman athletes was missing an opportunity to progress in the field of action sports. The growing community of skateboarders and BMX’ers have been rolling the streets of Kingston for the past few decades in search of some smooth concrete to practice their tricks, but the reality is that they are usually left to skate in the gullies, hidden away from sight. The need for a professional facility became more apparent when we discovered the heart-wrenching story of Andre “Wildfiyah” Thompson, an energetic young skateboarder who was killed just days after featuring in a documentary where he made it clear how much it would mean to the skate community to have a skatepark. Andre’s story confirmed our suspicion that a skatepark in Kingston could be life changing for young people, so we began our campaign and won’t be stopping until the young people of Jamaica can enjoy free access to a public skatepark.