Interview with Titus Dittmann – on the skateboard through icy times

Interview with Titus Dittmann – on the skateboard through icy timesTitus Dittmann photographed by Stefan Lehmann

With skate-aid in crisis areas

Loving sports and this especially in icy times is our passion this week. But it’s not always about doing sports yourself, it is also about making it possible for other people to do so in icy times. Like Titus Dittmann – instigator of the non-profit initiative skate-aid. For him, icy times do not necessarily have anything to do with temperature. Because the projects of his initiative skate-aid are all about enabling people, and especially children, to do sports and development through exercise, especially in places where the external living conditions are extremely difficult and disadvantageous, in another sense “icy” conditions.

Especially in war and crisis areas, where social grievances and difficult living conditions prevail and where children and young people are particularly affected and their developmentis hindered, that is where skate-aid and its projects come in. Through skateboard workshops and the construction of skate parks, for example, skate-aid gives children hope again. The skateparks offer the children free space in which they can playfully develop personality and discover and unfold their potential and abilities so that they can realize their own self-determination.

Titus Dittmann photographed by René Golz

„Skateboarding is pure enthusiasm and a fantastic educational tool to make kids strong.”  

How skateboarding is able to do this and why Titus Dittmann’s passion is to enable other people and especially children to skateboard, he told us in an interview:

“Skateboarding is pure enthusiasm and a fantastic educational tool to make children strong. And as the instigator of skate-aid, it drives me to use this immense power to help children in this world develop their personalities.

I got to know it in 1977 during my studies and was immediately fascinated as a prospective pedagogue. The young people couldn’t get enough of it, were full of intrinsic motivation to drive and create the next trick.

Skateboarding has an ingenious, positive learning spiral. And everything runs self-determined, in free spaces, without an adult telling you what to do. Skateboarders naturally develop courage, a firm will, willingness to perform, endurance and frustration tolerance. All things that you can use very well in the rest of your life.

Titus Dittmann photographed by Maik Giersch

WOW – Just like intombi, skate-aid celebrated its 10th anniversary

I got the idea [to initiate skate-aid] when I supported an initiative in Kabul with skateboard stuff in 2009. I noticed that skateboarding helps children especially in countries where living conditions hinder and endanger their personal development. So, I thought: I can do something about that. And that’s how my initiative skate-aid came about, which is now involved in 30 projects around the world.”

„Skateboarding is your own thing, no one’s fooling you. You set your own goals, and your self-confidence grows with your success. It makes you strong.”

And girls also benefit from skateboarding, he is convinced of that, especially in areas where girls often have a particularly difficult time because of their gender, and they are seen and treated as inferior members of society. Because the skate-aid skateparks are open to everyone – regardless of gender or skin colour, religion or social status. Skateboarding connects, promotes self-confidence and tolerance and it makes you strong.

“It also makes girls strong,” says Titus Dittmann, “we see that in projects like Afghanistan. Almost half the skateboarders there are girls. They’re good at something parents, other adults and mullahs cannot. A mullah is an honorary title of an Islamic legal and religious scholar/ status of a scholar. Thus, they become self-confident, and that radiates into other areas of life. As strong individuals who have learned to believe in themselves, they can enrich their society and become actively involved.”

. .

“In life, as in skateboarding, you have to rise whenever you have fallen down.”

And Titus Dittmann has a special tip for us all:

“Do your own thing and don’t let anyone tell you what to do, but also be responsible if it goes wrong. Strengthen your strengths, but also stand by your weaknesses and always believe in yourself! Take your chances, as long as theyare there, with firm will come the goals closer. But you must remember that in life, just like skateboarding, you have to rise whenever you have fallen down.” Strengthen your strengths,but also stand by your weaknesses and always believe in yourself! One must use chances, aslong as they are there, with firm will come the goals closer. But you must remember that in life, just like skateboarding, you must …to get up more often than to fall down.”


We are enthusiastic about skate-aid and the tireless fight of Titus Dittmann and his team – giving children the chance they deserve!


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