Skateistan has been given the award for best non-governmental organization of the year in Monaco by the Peace and Sport Forum. In the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert II, Skateistan Executive Director Oliver Percovich received the award from Peace and Sport Director and former world champion Joel Bouzou. The third annual forum and award ceremony was organized by the “Organization for Peace through Sport.”
Nearly 30 world champions (acting as ambassadors for peace through sport), government representatives and dignitaries connected to sport from around the world attended the three day forum. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singaporean Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports gave insights into the upcoming Youth Olympic Games next year in his country. He stressed the importance and legacy of sporting events in building bridges and community ties. South Africa’s Minister for Sport explained the difficulties and challenges his country is facing as host for the next world soccer championships and the ways in which they look to overcome these issues.
Asheesh Bhalla, representing Skateistan, spoke on a panel which discussed the topic “Ensuring the Economic Sustainability of Programs.” He explained how Skateistan is developing its partnerships with different brands in order develop alternative sources of income alongside traditional major donors, such as government organizations and foundations. Skateistan is licensing its name and will have co-branded products with two major companies in 2010. Bhalla said “It is important to find out what companies want and work with them strategically.”