Written By Sedrick Kidiima | Headquarter
April 2006: Jackson Mubiru and a South African friend called Shael Swart build Uganda’s first and only skateboard ramp in Kitintale, Kampala with locally made bricks. Jack’s family supplies the land and a department store donates two skateboards to the ramp.
July 2006: Jack meets a Canadian filmmaker and skateboarder from Vancouver named Brian Lye. Through good friends in Canada several Skateboards reach Uganda and the skaters. Brian lives in Uganda from 2005 to 2007.
September 2006: After Jack and Brian made a plan to build a small course beside the ramp, the construction of the new skate-park begins in order to build Uganda’s and even East Africa’s first skateboard park. To avoid paying a construction fee, they tell the authorities they are building an enclosure für a pet crocodile. The park was designed by the Canadian designers Matthew Morgan and Brian Lye. Further design specific advice was received from Grindline Skateparks, based in Seattle, USA. The whole park is built by hand by the youth of the community and funded by friends from all over the world; Canada, Japan, UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Burkina Faso, and from within Uganda. The first session goes down on December 23rd.
March 2007: The main issue facing the sustainability of the project is the ability to receive skateboards. In order to receive donated skateboards without having custom taxes added the project is developed into a nationally registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Uganda Skateboard Union. The NGO board issues the certificate to operate by the end of April. Some of the objectives of the USU include: – to provide a positive and fun outlet by promoting skateboarding, art, culture and education among the youth of Uganda in order to combat idleness and boredom – to helpt create bright and aware members of society so it will enforce the importance of education, teach the youth about health and sanitation issues, and educate the youth on HIV/AIDS – to raise awareness around the world of the situations of poverty, illness, HIV/AIDS and orphans in Uganda
2010: The „Skate aid“-program of Titus Germany, the Titus Dittmann who is seen as the father of the German skateboarding-scene, gets involved in the USU. In 1978 he traveled to California in order to import boards to Germany and found one of the first skate-shops in Europe: Titus Roll sport. Titus also helped to build up the skateboarding-scene in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the 1980’s, by smuggling boards over the inner-German-boarder. The support for the USU includes renovations and a extension of the park and the supply of hardware. In July 2012 there are 52 members within the USU and 35 skateboards have been donated from abroad since 2010.
July 2013: Brian raised over 10.000 $-CAN through an online fundraising-campaign called „indiegogo“ and travells back to Uganda in order to film a documentary until October.
January 2014: The USU is being awarded with the 5000€ Skate-Aid-Award of the European BRIGHT-convention. The money will be used to set up the USU office and storage room close to the park.