Skateboarding Looks Set To Take Off In Bhutan With The First-Ever Skate Park Built In Thimphu, In Memory Of Johnny Strange

Email

The 8000 square foot skate park, designed and built by CA Skateparks, is Bhutan’s first.

The late Johnny Strange teaching Bhutanese kids how to skate. (Source: Wisdom Tours Bhutan)

 

By Tshering Dendup | BBS

It was quite an unusual sight as some Bhutanese youths tried out skateboarding alongside professional skaters at the newly built Johnny Strange Memorial Skate Park in Bebena, Thimphu.

Some of the newbies were quite good at it while other first-timers were cautious in their every move.

 

Source: Facebook/Asian Skateboarding Federation

 

The 8000 square foot skate park, designed and built by CA Skateparks, is Bhutan’s first. It was constructed at a cost of US$ 98,000, funded by the Strange family, in memory of their late son, Johnny Strange.

Aims of constructing the skate park

“This skate park was built in honour of my son, Johnny Strange, who first came to Bhutan in 2011 and brought a skateboard with him,” his father, Brian Strange said.

 

Source: Mashable Asia

 

“Johnny was an adventurer and he loved kids and when Johnny passed away during wind suit flying in 2015, we wanted to build this park for the youth of Bhutan to inspire them, to be outside next to the mountains and away from their video games.”

More about the background of Johnny Strange

Johnny Strange first came to Bhutan to seek permission to scale the highest ‘unclimbed’ mountain in the world, the Gangkhar Puensum (7570m). As the peak of this mountain is considered sacred by the Bhutanese, his request was declined.

 

The Gangkhar Puensum in the background.

Source: Davelucas.net

 

However, Johnny developed a friendship with the Bhutanese and spent some time working with the Bhutan Olympic Committee. While he was in Bhutan, he also brought his skateboard with him and taught several young kids how to skate.

Events which transpired on the opening day

Johnny’s friend, Tom Schaar, who is a professional skater, was also there at the opening of the skate park on 20 November. He has come to Bhutan in remembrance of his friend.

Skateboards were provided to over 40 participants at the opening by two American companies, the Element Skateboards and Vans.

 

Source: Facebook/Asian Skateboarding Federation

 

“This being a first skate park in Bhutan, it’s really a big deal. Look how many kids are here and they are having a great time,” Tom Schaar said.

“I would just say it’s going to bring a whole new sport for the youth to do and I can’t wait to come back in the future and see how it’s going to be.”

Kinley Tshering of the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) is the Project Manager of the skate park project in Thimphu.

“This park is the first of its kind in Bhutan. It was constructed with an objective of benefiting the youth of Thimphu with support from the Strange family from America,” Kinley Tshering said.

Potential for skateboarding to take off in Bhutan

“Since the beginning of the construction, a lot of youth were interested in it and I feel the sport will develop.”

 

 

Source: California Skateparks

 

Actually, skateboarding is not new to Bhutanese youth. Shops have skateboards for sale and children can be seen skateboarding on the roadsides. However, the sport was not popular because of the lack of a proper place to practise.

“The sport was here in the country for a long time and but it has never gained popularity,” Sangay Rinchen, who came to try out skateboarding, said.

“It’s a really good initiative by the Strange family for the youth of Bhutan.”

 

This article first appeared in BBS  and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.


Related Posts

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To...

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace,...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14

Innovative Ideas Pitched By Youth, Mostly School Dropouts, To...

The ideas, which are human-centred, are also expected to enhance national food and nutrition security involving...

Jun 05, 2018 11:04

Motivating Bhutanese Women’s Participation and Representation in...

A committee member with the WSCB, Tshering Zangmo said that there is a need to encourage more women to take up...

Apr 22, 2018 21:21

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up...

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks...

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers...

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable...

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06

Latest

News

Catch Exciting Film Screenings, Cultural And Sports Events At ‘Japan Week 2018’ In Bhutan

The ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu is hopeful that ‘Japan Week’ will prove beneficial in promoting people to people...

Dec 04, 2018 20:15

Yonphula Airport In Bhutan Sees More Passengers With Increased Flights Per Week

Operations manager with Koufuku International Limited, Sanjok Biswakarma, said that the changes in the flight timing were well-timed.

Dec 03, 2018 22:29

Features

Recognising And Addressing The Needs Of The Differently-Abled In Bhutan

The theme ‘Empowering persons with disability and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,’ was also observed in other dzongkhags.

Dec 07, 2018 14:13

Sightings Of White Bellied Herons Declining In Bhutan

The White Bellied Herons are secretive birds, often intolerant of close proximity to humans.

Dec 05, 2018 22:03

Sports

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks And Hope to Reach Out To All Other Monastic Institutions In Bhutan

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up Archery In Bhutan

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Business

Bhutan Expects Record Low Inflation In 2018

The nine-month average inflation rate this year was recorded at 2.61 percent, the lowest figure since 2004.

Dec 09, 2018 11:47

Austrian Delegation Seek Investment Opportunities In Bhutan And To Foster Stronger Ties

According to the Austrian delegates, eight companies from diverse sectors such as energy, engineering, tourism and health visited Bhutan to...

Dec 06, 2018 12:42

Travel

Lhop Widows From Samtse, Bhutan Keep Their Culture Of ‘Duk Tsho Hang’ Alive

There is a thriving custom among the Lhops – women are not allowed to wear ornaments after their partners die.

Dec 08, 2018 22:08

Bhutan Received 71,417 International Visitors In 2017; Singapore, USA And Japan In Top 10 List

In 2017, Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors and the revenue earned was USD 79m, the highest arrival and revenue since 2012.

Dec 03, 2018 11:25

Lifestyle

Aku Tongmi: A Song For Bhutan Launched To Revive Traditional Bhutanese Music

The book consists of 10 Bhutanese songs including the National Anthem.

Dec 05, 2018 07:04

Research Done By Bhutanese Artists To Revive Ancient Culture Of Using Colours Sourced From Nature

Artists Penjor Dorji and Norbu Tshering are about to complete a research on using natural pigments to create artworks in Bhutan.

Nov 29, 2018 07:51

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!