Skateistan in Mazar-e-SharifAnother skate park was opened in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan by the Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich.

This was the second skate park opened in Afghanistan after a similar park was created in capital Kabul by Skateistan, an Afghan NGO that works with youth from a range of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds to build trust and to provide empowerment through a combination of skateboarding and educational activities.

It was established in 2007 and is based in Kabul, Afghanistan, which pproximately 40 staff worldwide, and dozens more volunteers.

The program in Afghanistan is currently providing trainings for over 400 Afgahn children who are taking part in skateboarding lessons with few hours in the classroom.

Skateistan started operations in Afghanista with initial financial support of $50,000 from Canadian embassy, Norwegian Embassy and the Danish Embassy, Oliver Percovich, Founder & Executive Director of Skateistan said during an interview with the ABC News.

“It was extremely difficult. The kids were always very enthusiastic about doing it, but it was a little bit harder to convince other people that a skateboarding project made sense in Afghanistan at all, and it took a lot of time to show that, hey, this is something that can be built on,” he said.

Oliver Percovich said, “We’ve got two in Afghanistan now. We’ve just opened a brand new one in Mazar-e-Sharif. The one in Kabul is 1,700 square metres. It’s a large indoor skatepark. We’ve got a marble floor in there – it’s definitely a skatepark that would be a really good one anywhere in the world, let alone in Afghanistan.”

Skateistan was founded in 2007 when Percovich arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, with three skateboards and quickly met a group of local boys and girls eager to learn how to skate.

It later turned into a bigger skate park after Percovich started lessons at a local empty fountain. The 1750m2 Skateistan park officially opened in capital Kabul on October 29, 2009, giving boys and girls in Kabul a secure environment and an indoor skatepark to come to every week.