Founded by skateboarder Charlie Davis, the story of SkatePal began in 2013 with a team of volunteers heading back and forth between London and Palestine. Looking at communities within the West Bank that have limited access to cultural, educational and sporting opportunities, the charity is building skateparks, running classes and providing equipment to build and support the emerging skateboarding scene.
SkatePal has built spaces across Palestine including Rosa Park in Asira Al-Shamaliya, Jayyous Skatepark and a current build in Al-Bireh, Ramallah.
Rosa Park is currently the largest in the country and the charity's second concrete skatepark in the West Bank. The 700sqm park was built in 2015 by twenty volunteers using locally sourced materials. Today, the volunteers (both local and international) host regular classes with a daily average attendance of 40 children alongside their families either participating or hosting picnics and interacting with the community.
According to the team, the majority of attendees at the skateparks are regulars at the sessions, showing potential and skill and some even looking to pursue the sport professionally.
SkatePal is currently working on a new concrete skatepark at the Inash AlUsra girls orphanage in Al-Bireh, Ramallah alongside Betongpark Ltd and Inash AlUsra Society (a non-profit Palestinian women’s association). Once completed, the spot will also be accessible once a week to local skaters and youth. The park will provide a safe space learn and practice with the help of local skateboarders and will include a concrete mini ramp, wallride, ledge and more.
Alongside the skatepark, the team is also refitting an existing water well and removing the current water reserve tanks to create a larger space and provide cleaner water as water continues to be limited in Palestine.
SkatePal's projects and success relies on donations and volunteering while the team continues to support skateboarding communities across the West Bank. Visit the website for more information on the charity.