Skateboarding helps kids drop-in to better life

Ziyaad’s Skate School founder and skate instructor Ziyaad Davids, far left, runs free classes for underprivileged children. Picture: Ziyaad Davids.

A Hout Bay skateboarding school is giving free lessons to underprivileged children in the area to keep them away from gangsterism and drugs.

Ziyaad’s Skate School, at the Eyethu Hout Bay Skatepark, caters for up to 30 youngsters from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.

Founder and skate instructor Ziyaad Davids said he had been skateboarding for 18 years and started giving lessons in 2019 after losing his job because of the pandemic.

“I started with teaching private lessons to the community kids around Hout Bay and got lots of support from the community. That’s when I wanted to give back to the community by starting to teach kids who couldn’t afford to pay.

“Because skateboarding did so much for me, I continued to invest in the communities like Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu. I was involved with the wrong friends in my youth, but skateboarding took me away from lots of bad situations. That’s one of the reasons I believe I can do the same for our youth.”

The school has four assistant coaches who volunteer each week.

“My goal is to keep pushing skateboarding in our communities so that our youth can benefit from it, and our responsibility is to create a safe space for our youth.

“At the moment, we mostly work with areas around Hout Bay but do have lots of other organisations that come out to us to work with their kids by teaching them skateboarding.”

He appealed to the public to help the school provide food and shoes for the children.

“It will be amazing to feed the kids on the days we teach them, which will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” he said.

“We also try and take kids out on day trips to expose them to more around our beautiful city. We normally do excursions to museums and hikes. We could use assistance with volunteers who can help facilitate our students.”

For more information or to volunteer, contact Ziyaad Davids at ziyaadskateschool790@gmail.com or 078 354 0784.