At Least Sports: Skatepark in Dodoma
Text: Florian Maier
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The population lives in a day-to-day struggle. Even if the majority of families is capable of securing a minimal standard of living, many children and teenagers suffer froma a deprived sense of accomplishment. Many of them do not go to school and there are practically no offerings for meaningful leisure activities. Life on the streets is dominated by drugs, crime and a lack of perspective.
Architect: Maier Landschaftsarchitektur/Betonlandschaften
Location: Dodoma, Tanzania, Africa
In 2010, skate-Aid and Don Bosco started a cooperation with clear emphasis on sports. Don Bosco runs an educational center with an integrated sports facility in the capital of Tanzania. The facility consists of two football fields and two basketball courts, which lay in the direct vicinity of a shanty town. The most recent project was a concrete skatepark as the new center of the facility, which was recently refurbished. The whole area has now been secured with a wall to prevent vandalism.
The concrete skatepark as well as the complete sports facility is accessible for students of the education center and other teenagers free of charge. The main priority was to make the skatepark multi-functional. Accordingly, a large open area for concerts and other performances was added and the sides of the skatepark are made up of staircases, which can be used as stands for the two adjacent football fields.
The project won a Special Prize at the 2013 IOC / IAKS Awards. The jury was very taken with the idea of “building a skatepark in Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest countries. Students and other teenagers are thus given the opportunity to skateboard in a great park in their free time. They are assisted by instructors from Uganda and Germany; local talents are also given support - and prospects for the future.”
Client/Operator: skate-aid & Don Bosco
Size of site: 420 m²
Number of athletes/users in 2012: 8,000
Start of construction: 5/2011
Construction costs: Euro 28,000
Operating costs in 2012: Euro 600