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Atita Verghese Is India’s First Female Pro Skateboarder And She’s Building Skate Parks For Underprivileged Children

Photo: Atita Verghese/Instagram

Women don’t skateboard in India, right? Wrong.

It may be one of the poorest countries in the world, but skateboarding is taking off, with women at the forefront. That’s in large part due to Atita Verghese, the first female professional skateboarder in India.

Verghese was 19 and in between high school and college when she discovered the sport. She wasn’t a good student in the traditional sense, but once she received her first skateboard from the HolyStoked Collective, she got a different kind of education thanks to traveling the world and experiencing new things.

Now 24, Verghese has quite the resume. In 2013, she partnered with the HolyStoked Collective to build a skate park in Bengaluru, where she and her friends taught underprivileged children how to skate. They also tutored them in English and Math, and taught them photography skills. Because of their success with the pilot program, they received a grant from a German NGO to build 10 similar skate parks across the country, and five abroad.

In late 2015, Verghese organized India’s first ever all-girls skateboarding tour, where she invited 12 other female skateboarders from nine countries to visit four cities in India. The crew traveled by bus to spread positive messages to young children via skateboarding.

They recently released a short documentary of their trip, which is well worth the watch.

So, if you’re wondering how powerful sports can be. Look no further than Verghese and her vision.

Kim Constantinesco

Kim Constantinesco

As the founder and editor-in-chief of Purpose2Play.com, Kim Constantinesco dives under the surface hype to illuminate heroes in the sports world. Whether talking with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan, Kim has a keen interest in shining the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes it's time media starts placing a higher value on the people and communities who are actively doing something to make the world a little better. Previously, she covered the Denver Broncos and the NFL for seven seasons. Her work has been featured on NFL.com, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, The New York Times, and USA Today. She resides in Denver, CO. When not working, she can be found deep in the Rocky Mountains throwing backflips on her snowboard. Follow Kim on Twitter: @KimCon14
Kim Constantinesco

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