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Skateboarding gradually gaining popularity in Nepal

Enthusiasts seek govt help to participate in Olympics


Nepalnews
2021 Apr 24, 7:00, Kathmandu
Alan performs his skate tricks, on his skateboard. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News

Skateboarding is relatively a new sport for many people in Nepal. Many still do not know much about the sport though it emerged in Nepal in the early 2000's. Globally, skateboarding started catching on with the youth in the 1950s in California and Hawaii in the United States.

Skateboarding is gradually gaining popularity in Nepal but not at the level that the enthusiasts want it to be at. In fact, many people are not aware that skateboarding has been introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held at Ariake Urban Sports Park on coming July 25, 26, and August 4 and 5.

"I have represented Nepal in various international competitions and going to lobby the government to include skateboarding in the main sports event," says Ujjwal Dangol, founder of Ktm Skate Park, which is located in Nayabazaar and is a sanctum for skateboarders in Kathmandu.


Ujjwal Dangol, one of the pioneers of skateboarding scene in Nepal, in his skateboard shop 'Hamro Skateshop' located in Bijeshwori. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
Ujjwal Dangol, one of the pioneers of skateboarding scene in Nepal, in his skateboard shop 'Hamro Skateshop' located in Bijeshwori. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News

Dangol has also established Hamro Skateshop in Bijeshwori that is one of the main shops in Kathmandu selling skateboards and other related paraphernalia. He shares that he got the inspiration to take up skateboarding when he noticed a Japanese national surfing through the streets of Thamel when he was in his teenage. The interest that started as a hobby has now become a passion for Dangol.


A group of skaters, on a basketball court in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
A group of skaters, on a basketball court in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News

Initially, there were not many people involved in skateboarding but now there are more than 1,000 youths who have started playing the sport devotedly. "What is also encouraging is that there are many girls who have also started skateboarding," adds Dangol.


A skateboarder on his skateboard. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
A skateboarder on his skateboard. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News

On the downside, we do not have enough parks for skateboarding in Nepal, mentions Basanta Rai, who is also known as Alan in the skateboarding community. "There was one in Kathmandu but that has been closed down as we were not able to pay the rent due to the financial crisis caused by the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus," he shares, adding that there is one in Pokhara though.

Basanta, who has also won a gold medal in the men's category at the 2019 Jugaad Skateboarding Competition in Bangalore, India, says there are many skaters in Nepal who are very talented and could win trophies in international events. "However, talent only is not enough because they also need a place to hone their skills."


Basanta Rai alias Alan, a skateboarder who won Jugaad Skateboarding Competition-2019, in men's category held in Bangalore, India. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
Basanta Rai alias Alan, a skateboarder who won Jugaad Skateboarding Competition-2019, in men's category held in Bangalore, India. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News

Lorin Rai, a keen female skater, who stood first in the girl's category, in the 2019 Jugaad Skateboarding Competition in Bangalore, India, says that she first started skateboarding just for fun. "Now, I am very involved in the sport and I would like to represent Nepal more in international competitions," she adds.

One aspect that is very commendable about the skateboaders is that the lack of parks has not stopped them from pursuing their passion. "We have been utilising the basketball court at the Tribhuvan University grounds in Kirtipur," states Lorin.


Lorin Rai, a skateboarder who won the girl's category in Jugaad Skateboarding Competition-2019 in Banagalore, India. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/ Nepal News
Lorin Rai, a skateboarder who won the girl's category in Jugaad Skateboarding Competition-2019 in Banagalore, India. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/ Nepal News

Meanwhile, all of the skateboarders have just one thought in mind... "When will skateboarding be recognised as a sport by the government in Nepal?"


Contact Details:

https://www.facebook.com/hamroskateshop/

https://www.instagram.com/hamroskateshop/?hl=en

A skateboarder, practices his tricks on a basketball court, located in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
A skateboarder, practices his tricks on a basketball court, located in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
A collection of worn out skateboards of Ujjwal Dangol so far, since his inception into the sport. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/ Nepal News
A collection of worn out skateboards of Ujjwal Dangol so far, since his inception into the sport. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/ Nepal News
A sticker mentioning gratitude to skateboarding. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
A sticker mentioning gratitude to skateboarding. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana/Nepal News
skateboarding nepal 2020 Tokyo Olympics Kathmandu Ktm Skate Park Hamro Skateshop Jugaad Skateboarding Competition
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