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The Remarkable Tale of 'Skater Girl' and Its Impact on India's Urban Sports Scene

Photo: (From Left to Right) Manjari Makijany, Clare Hart, Shraddha Gaikwad, Vinati Makijany.

The Festival International des Sports Extrêmes (FISE) and Urban Sports Summit (USS) are Europe's largest freestyle sports events hosted every year in Montpellier, France.

Director, Writer and Producer Manjari Makijany along with Writer and Producer Vinati Makijany were invited as distinguished guests at USS 2023 to speak on Gender Innovation and share the profound impact their film, Skater Girl, had upon its successful release on Netflix. They took center stage at this event to share their invaluable insights into the extraordinary journey they embarked on while crafting the film and realising a groundbreaking project–the creation of one of India's largest skateparks in the heart of rural Rajasthan.

Photo: (From Left to Right) Nicolas Widmer, Tess Harmand, Anahi Valentina, Manjari Makijany, Vinati Makijany.

Shraddha Gaikwad, the recipient of the inaugural Desert Dolphin Skate Grant an initiative supported by the Skate Basti Foundation and the Living Grace Foundation India, also had the privilege of participating in the Amateur Girls' skateboarding category during FISE. FISE boasted over 600,000 attendees and more than 2,000 international athletes participating in 70 competitions.

It’s always a delight to see Indian female athletes representing India on a global scale in spite of the lack of support system to foster such talent in urban sports. This starting block in the form of the Desert Dolphin Skate Grant might be the enabler athletes like Shraddha need to propel their journeys on the path to a successful run in the realm of skateboarding.

Desert Dolphin Skatepark aspires to lead and nurture young skateboarders from rural India onto a national and global platform. We believe that India has the talent and foresight to bring home much more than recognition, and we aim to lay the groundwork right here at the skatepark. More than training the kids to win, the skatepark strives to help them acquire essential life skills that will enable them to connect with athletes worldwide. With this vision, we are dedicated to transforming DD skatepark into a premier hub for urban sports in India.


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