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Working together with the Strange Family, we support skateboarding development and programs at the Johnny Strange Memorial Skatepark in Thimphu, Bhutan.
In August, 2021, we sent a shipment of 20 complete skateboards to The Bhutan Olympic Committee to be distributed to 20 local skateboarders, boys and girls, aged 6-18 who signed up to participate in a skateboarding event held at the Johnny Strange Memorial Skatepark in Thimphu, Bhutan. (Follow the progress on Instagram @bhutanskates)
We are currently planning a summer skatecamp program and additional donations of skateboards, DIY skateboard manufacturing equipment, Photo/Video equipment and accompanying mentorship workshops. Travel dates currently TBD due to travel restrictions.
A message from the Strange Family:
Johnny Strange was an adventurer, mountaineer, extreme sports athlete, brother, son, and friend from Malibu, California. He was the youngest person to summit the world's Seven Summits (including Mt. Everest) and a renowned skydiver and BASE jumper. He big wave surfed in Nazare, Portugal and Hawaii, trained in martial arts in Thailand, and in his free time could often be found bombing hills in California on his skateboard. Through his many adventures, he worked to bring awareness to causes he cared about, like protecting youth in impoverished or war-torn regions.
Johnny first visited the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2014, and fell in love with the beautiful mountainous country and the people of Bhutan, the happiest people he had ever met. He developed a friendship with many Bhutanese people and spent time working with the Bhutan Olympic Committee. On his two trips to Bhutan, he brought a longboard skateboard and skated the hills in Thimphu, the nation's capital. When his skateboard caught the attention of local kids, he taught them how to skate.
Johnny tragically passed away in a BASE jumping accident in 2015. In his honor, his family, in cooperation with the Kingdom of Bhutan, built the Johnny Strange Skatepark in Thimphu in 2018–the first skatepark in Bhutan. The Strange family is excited to partner with Salad Days of Skateboarding to ensure the long term success of the skatepark by maintaining the park and providing boards, shoes, and skate camps to Bhutanese youth.
Read this National Geographic article on Johnny's legacy in Bhutan
Support for Skateboarders in Pakistan.
In March, 2021, we sent an initial shipment of 12 complete skateboards and provided guidance on building a safe & inclusive skateboarding program to unite skateboarders across Pakistan. (Follow the progress on Instagram @skatepakistan)
In February, 2022, we travelled to Lahore and Islamabad to further support Skate Pakistan. We donated 35 brand-new complete skateboards, a DIY skateboard manufacturing kit, and a Digital SLR camera donated by FujiFIlm USA.
Working together, we held inclusive skateboarding workshops for beginners of all ages and genders. We built skateboarding infrastructure by building a quarter pipe at a local skate spot in Lahore. Along with a group of skateboarders from Lahore, we travelled to Islamabad to connect with skateboarders across cities. In Islamabad we held a big meet up of skateboarders from across the northern region (see above photo).
We are currently working with Wonders Around the World to design the first public skatepark in Pakistan and will begin a fundraising campaign for our return support trip and scheduled skatepark build in Spring, 2023.
In December, 2021, we donated 5 brand new complete skateboards to two skateboarder from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. We met skaters Surush & Firuz at a week-long skateboarding cultural conference in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, where two Salad Days directors attended to give lectures and workshops to skateboarders from up and coming skate scenes across Eurasia. These were the two main skateboarders in the whole country and we began talks for developing skateboarding programs and support for them to grow a skateboarding scene in Tajikistan. we made our initial donation with plans to visit and offer our full package of support in late 2022/ early 2023. Stay Tuned!
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