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 Daily Bhutan.


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

Largely Funded By The Asian Development Bank, Bhutan’s First Mini-Dry Port Is Now Completed

The Asian Development Bank funded 81 percent of the total budget as grant while the Bhutanese government funded the rest.

Feb 15, 2019 11:35

Highlights Of The Year Long Bhutan-India Golden Jubilee Celebrations Which Wrapped Up On 8 Feb 2019

“The events reminded us how deep our economic, spiritual and cultural links are,” said the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar.

Feb 09, 2019 19:07

Features

One Third Of The Hindu Kush Himalayan Glaciers Could Melt By End 2100: ICIMOD Study

Bhutan will see a rise in temperature higher than the regional average of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

Feb 13, 2019 17:56

To Eat ‘Snacks Or Snakes?’ Discover The Idiosyncrasies Of Bhutanese English

Bhutanese English differs from standard English not only in terms of its accent and pronunciation but also in the usage of words while...

Feb 12, 2019 18:52

Sports

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

9-Year-Old Boy From Bhutan Completes Gruelling Cross-Country Cycling Race

While many thought that the boy would give up after 5 to 6 kilometres, others were concerned that he might get injured.

Feb 01, 2019 16:52

Business

Bhutan Shortlisted As A Finalist For The Intellectual Property (IP) Sharing Project 2019

Bhutan has been selected as one of the four finalists out of 13 countries.

Feb 14, 2019 18:38

Bhutan Records Lowest Inflation Rate In 2018 At 3.13 Percent

For the measurement of the current Consumer Price Index, prices are collected from a sample of 557 outlets.

Feb 11, 2019 18:42

Travel

Revival Of Khurul Lake In Lhamoidzingkha – A Special Lake Where One’s Wishes ‘Can’ Be Fulfilled

Today, the lake is fast becoming a tourist spot for both Bhutanese and tourists from abroad.

Jan 20, 2019 15:47

Here’s What It’s Like Inside Asia’s Best Hotel - COMO Uma Punakha In Bhutan

Luxury resort COMO Uma Punakha was awarded best hotel in Asia and third best hotel in the world, by Conde Nast Traveler's Readers Choice...

Jan 18, 2019 17:05

Lifestyle

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Bhutanese Boyband O'Strangers To Play In Pattaya For 2 Months

They are the first Bhutanese rock band to perform at Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya in Thailand.

Jan 04, 2019 15:13

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!