‘Wheely’ big initiative

Danni Abulhawa
Danni Abulhawa
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A Sheffield lecturer is taking her skateboard to Palestine next month, to help teach children the popular hobby.

Dani Abulhawa, a senior lecturer in performance at Sheffield Hallam University, is one of 20 volunteers heading to Palestine this summer with charity SkatePAL - founded by skateboarder Charlie Davis after he visited Palestine in 2013 and his skateboarding received a lot of attention from local children. Since then, he and a group of volunteer skateboarders have continued to visit Palestine to build skate parks and teach skateboarding classes.

Dani, who is a skateboarder herself and half Palestinian, said: “I was surprised and comforted to see that skateboarding – something which makes me feel like I belong, and channels my energy – was happening in a country that is normally associated with war, conflict and hopelessness. SkatePAL is not political but it’s important we give these skills to kids who, through no fault of their own, have been born into the situation they are in.”

As well as teaching and building ramps, Dani will research how children use skateboarding to explore the urban environment and make friends.