Fatima's Heart

Listen to the Rhythm of my Heart!

Meet Rene S Lecour, founder of Amigo Skate Charity

on June 1, 2015

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To support Amigo Skate Charity, buy the tee shirt featured above here…

“Amigo Skate” is a bunch of people, trying to make a difference in the lives of young boys. They provide positive role models, skateboard equipment and skateboarding instructions to at-risk youth of Miami and Havana.

Based in Miami, Florida, they have worked within their local community offering scholarships to skateboard camps, organized canned food drives, raised funds for breast cancer research and several other children’s causes.

The Amigo Skate Team raises awareness by providing skate demos, safety clinics and entertainment to events like the Miami Dade County Youth Fair and the Skateboard Rodeo. They also plan to launch a free summer program to teach skateboarding to children with special needs and have recently formed a partnership with Longboards for Peace to teach children, living in group homes, how to skate. They have now extended their reach internationally, to the youth in Havana, Cuba.

We had a conversation with Rene Sugar Lecour, the mastermind behind all the fundraising for Amigo Skate Charity. Here is what he had to say.

Q. Congratulations Rene. You have been selected by Cyber Kiwanis to be featured as “Community Friend” on our website. First of all, tell us about this big tour to Havana, that is coming up in June?

Well, thank you for honoring me and giving me a chance to speak out, I am extremely humbled. We will be in Havana for one week in June. Our objective is to; bring skateboards, art supplies and music equipment to give away for free to Cuba’s youth, rebuild a section of the dilapidated Havana skate park, and host the first ever ‘Go Skateboarding Day’ in Havana Cuba. Go Skateboarding Day is a day that skaters go out and skate together in a mass, to celebrate the love of the sport and solidarity with skaters worldwide. On June 21, our GSD Havana event will feature a parade style skateboard, touring the streets of Havana, several skateboard competitions at iconic locations around the city and a free party for all the participants at the close of the day.

Q. Ah! A “Skateboard”, what does it mean to you?

A skateboard can be a form of transportation, a source of entertainment or a piece of sporting equipment BUT, to us the skateboard is the vehicle that we use to deliver our message of love. We use our skateboards to form bonds of international friendship and peace.

Q. Who were the people who came up with this idea of providing skateboards to youth?

My son and I started the Amigo movement 5 years ago after watching a documentary about Cuba’s teen culture. We are both avid skateboard enthusiasts and after witnessing the hardships of Cuba’s youth we decided that we could make a positive change in their lives. Due to the restrictions set by the TRADE EMBARGO and the Cuban government, there are no skate shops in Havana and honestly none of it residents children really have the funds for sports equipment. A skateboard may not be much in the grand scheme of things in this world but it is what we have to give. If we were doctors we would send medicine but we are skaters. What started out as a couple of people donating their extra gear, has turned into a movement that is 5 years strong, with dozens of friends donating their time and hundreds of skateboards delivered to Cuba’s youth.

Q. It’s been five years you have been raising funds and traveling to Cuba, what keeps you going?

For the most part we have been self-funded over the past five years. We collect new and used equipment and we bring them in duffel bags on the plane ride to Cuba. Our members pay for their own expenses to go into Havana, give away first-hand the products that we collect, teach safety skills, repair the park and host free events. For us, it is a labor of love.

Q. What difficulties have you faced during all these years?

Well, as you can imagine, not too many people understand the mission. Skateboards? Why? My answer is always the same. We make children smile, we give them a healthy way to pass the time and we give them a connection to the outside world. Now they know that they are not alone, and they are part of an international brotherhood of skaters, that not only acknowledges their existence but also stand beside them in solidarity.

Q.What are your hopes for the future?

Our hope for the future is that one day we are no longer needed in Cuba. Until that day we will continue with our mission. Our goal for 2016 is to build a multi-use indoor facility where we can teach Havana’s children skateboarding, art and music free of charge.

Thank you Rene for your time and efforts. And congratulations on being a “Community Friend”. All your hard work is much appreciated and we wish you the very best.

Their Website: http://www.amigoskate.com/
You can also connect with Rene at: amigoskatecharity@yahoo.com

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