Suli Skatepark (Iraq)
A volunteer project working alongside the NGO Make Life Skate Life. The opportunity to deliver the first skatepark in Iraq was a hard one to say no to. A team of international volunteers came together in this foreign and typecast country to work in collaboration with the locals to deliver a park for the hospitable community.
The project is located in the north-east of the country, in the area known as Kurdistan. Due to the scale of this large town there is a lot of youth but not a lot of spaces dedicated to their requirements. The facility is located within a large community park that caters for various demographics and now for the local and evolving skate community. It is well supported with adjoining playgrounds, lighting and even a barbeque!
The facility features a variety of elements to cater for the different user types and of their skill levels. Progression is encouraged through several larger elements including a ‘heart’ shaped bowl and a Kurdistan flag as a transition vert wall. A follow up visit allowed an extension of the park, with a focus on a beginner section, greatly increasing the encouragement of all to use the park. This is in acknowledgment of many users never having skateboarded before.
The park is now solely managed by trained locals. They run workshops at the park but also undertake outreach programs to adjoining communities and refugee camps.