Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa and Mercedes-Benz South Africa launch award-winning Skateistan initiative in East London
  • In celebration of Laureus South Africa’s 20 year anniversary, the organisation launched its partnership with the Skateistan programme at A.W. Barnes Primary School, East London
  • Skateistan is an award-winning non-profit organisation which empowers children through skateboarding and education

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa (LSFGF SA) and Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) have partnered to launch the award-winning non-profit organisation, Skateistan in East London. Skateistan empowers children through skateboarding and education. 

The launch of Skateistan, builds on Laureus’ sport for development initiative in East London. The official launch of the Skateistan took place at A.W. Barnes Primary School in East London and coincided with the final leg of the Laureus SA’s Goodwill Tour, from Cape Town to the East London, as part of its 20 year anniversary celebrations.

Skateistan uses skateboarding as a catalyst for change by providing young children with access to innovative programmes and educational opportunities that support the national curriculum. The creative, arts-based lessons teach vital age-appropriate elements like gender equality, life skills, career planning, leadership skills and more.

Morné du Plessis, Chairperson of Laureus SA, said that: “The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa and Mercedes-Benz South Africa share a strong focus on uplifting and empowering women and girls, which is a vision that is supported by Skateistan’s various educational activities. Skateboarding is immensely popular among our kids and offers a fantastic platform to reach the youth and make a tangible difference in their lives. In addition, Skateistan’s impact on girls across the globe has also been well documented and complements our own work in the community, and I can’t think of a better way to expand on our Sport for Good activities than by supporting this programme here in East London.”

Joined by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation SA Ambassadors, Maps Maponyane as well as Natalie du Toit, learners had the opportunity to rub shoulders with professional skateboarders who imparted their skills to the onlookers in a thrilling demonstration. 

At the core of Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy is a focus on education and community upliftment. With its manufacturing plant based in East London, MBSA has a deep and well-established footprint in the town.

Commenting on the launch, Abey Kgotle, Executive Director of Human Resources & Corporate Affairs for MBSA said: “Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Laureus SA have created a symbiotic and sustainable intervention by using sport to catalyse youth development and transform communities, sustainably. The launch of Skateistan is East London reaffirms our commitment by powering the possibilities of a brighter future for the young people.”

Skateistan reaches more than 3,000 youngsters aged between 5 and 17, in over 15 locations across the globe including Johannesburg, Atlantis in Cape Town, Cambodia, Jordan and Afghanistan. The programme has won numerous awards, and was also honoured for its work by the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2015.