Contact us

Subscribe to the Beyond Sport Bulletin

The email is not valid.

Contact us

+44 (0)20 7240 7700 [email protected]

5th Floor, 110 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6JS 119 W. 24th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Superacció & Skate-Aid: Fostering Social Inclusion Through Sport

Beyond Sport X Under Armour Participant

September 15, 2023 

In celebration of the expansion of our #SportForSocialChange retail donation campaign in partnership with Under Armour into Germany and Spain this month, we’re spotlighting the participating charities that are using sport to inspire and teach valuable lessons to youth. Today meet Superacció, which uses physical activity to promote education, social inclusion and personal development in Barcelona, Spain and skate-aid, which is empowering kids and promote cultural understanding in Berlin and Münster in Germany. 

A particular concern in Spain centers around its education system dropout rate. As soon as compulsory education ends at the age of 16, many do not return. Data shows that 28% of Spanish people aged between 25-34 had left school without graduating from the Baccalaureate (sixth form/12th-grade education) or obtaining a grado medio, also referred to as intermediate vocational training. The figure is more than twice the EU average. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stresses that a higher educational level is associated with better career prospects. In 2021, the dropout rate was 13.3.% and despite improvements over the last decade, the figures are still among the worst in the European Union. Several factors contribute to this, including financial constraints for low-income families, language barriers for immigrant and refugee families and a lack of provisions in place for disabled and refugee children. 

Germany is the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) second-largest donor and the largest refugee-hosting country in the European Union. This year, the country expects 300,000 asylum seekers alone. However, newcomers to the country face many challenges including a lack of educational opportunities, housing and language barriers. The projected housing shortage is expected to reach 700,000 by 2025 – the worst housing crisis Germany has seen in 20 years. A study by policy experts and researchers showed that in the country people are willing to rent out a flat or temporarily share their private space preferably with only white Ukrainians. This poses a huge challenge for ethnic minority refugees and asylum seekers.


Some description 

Superacció was founded in Barcelona in 2013 to use triathlon training and work to engage, support and develop young people at risk of social exclusion. Its programming serves young people between 16 and 24 in different cities in the province of Barcelona such as Barcelona city, Montornès del Vallés, Manresa, Gualba and Tarragona, as well as Tenerife in the Canary Islands. 

The non-profit focuses on supporting young people who have high dropout rates from school and education, newcomers with lower levels of education and a lack of knowledge on local culture and languages, as well as those who are or have been in the Spanish Child Protection system. Project Manager Mónica Marchesi García shared that the challenges they face are a result of their social exclusion -- challenges that include low self-confidence, poor health habits, an inability to get stable jobs or  to stay in education, and a lack of the same opportunities as native locals. 

“It is very difficult to speak of social exclusion. Young people who have been tutored by the protection system as minors find it difficult to reintegrate into society. Without the necessary tools to take control of their lives, they feel disorientated or lost and this can lead to crime and drug abuse. When they have behavioural problems or special educational needs, schools are unable to give them the same learning opportunities,” she explained further. 

Superacció uses triathlon – a multi-discipline sport consisting of swimming, cycling and athletics – to engage youth so that they can gain self-esteem and see themselves as more capable of achieving things. It is used to channel participant's energies, overcome their barriers, face fears, challenge limits and promote cultural differences. “Triathlon promotes the diversification of efforts and objectives; it forces them to strive in disciplines in which they are good in and those that they aren’t. By combining three sports you gain important characteristics such as teamwork, which is very useful when transferred to daily life. Sport offers a very strong motivation in these young people, which allows us to get closer to them, to know their reality better and to offer them resources according to their needs.” 

In addition to offering training through its ‘Triathlon for Insertion’ initiative, Superacció offers a summer sports camp, which also empowers and connects young people through the sport. It also offers ‘Expressive training’, which is used to help participants get in touch with the body as a vehicle for learning and wellbeing. Above all, the non-profit provides opportunities for its young people to return to school, improve their studies and ultimately to help them get a job through educational and practical courses. 

One of the organisation's participants, Habibou, arrived in Barcelona hidden in a truck. Without papers, family or a safe place to live, his story is similar to that of many unaccompanied foreign minors seeking a future far from home. Superacció not only gave him the opportunity to get his passport and a roof over his head but also a purpose, a community and a passion for triathlon. He learned how to swim, the value of teamwork, self-improvement and discipline. With the charity's emphasis on training and sport, he is now dreaming of a future in sports with an aspiration to become a gym technician. 

With funds raised from the Beyond Sport X Under Armour campaign and seed funding provided by the retailer, Superacció will strengthen its programming and expand its activities by purchasing essential equipment for its workshops. “This support will not only enhance the quality of our sessions but will also allow us to reach a greater number of beneficiaries. Thanks to this donation, we are one step closer to fulfilling our mission and making a positive difference in our community. Thank you again for trusting in our project and helping us make it a reality,” shared García.


Some description

skate-aid International e.V is on a mission to empower children through skateboarding and promote cultural understanding that bridges the challenges of language, war and more. In 2023, the organisation reached more than 1000 children around the world by providing more than 3000 workshops. In Germany, its programming spans across the country but focuses mainly on Berlin and Münster. 

Managing Director Tobias Egelkamp shared that young people in the country are facing limited access to education and development opportunities, economic instability that is hindering their growth and wellbeing, social disconnection and violence. “Youth in some communities face social isolation and discrimination. These factors, paired with poverty and a lack of education, leave youth vulnerable to negative influences and lead to a lack of positive role models.” 

skate-aid believes that prevention is key to diverting youth from negative influences, and uses skateboarding to promote socialisation, prevention and peace. Through the popular and engaging activity, it is uniting diverse youth, building understanding and friendships. “Peace is fostered as communities unite around positive outlets, reducing tensions and promoting collaboration [that is] vital for regions often affected by conflict,” explains Egelkamp.

“We support children in their development...The skate parks and the skateboard are the necessary tools to provide sustainable support through our educationally supervised skateboarding workshops. The kids learn to get up after they have fallen. This strengthens their personality and they learn not to be afraid to face new challenges in their life in general. That is our mission: We empower kids!” 

The non-profit constructs and maintains skate parks to create free, safe spaces for youth to engage in many activities as well as skateboard. It also provides free skateboarding lessons and workshops to promote self-development, resilience, integration and inclusion. Additionally, skate-aid aids in the implementation and promotion of skateboarding events nationally and internationally, supporting youth exchange programs that help reduce cultural barriers and prejudices. Its workshops include skateboarding training but also have an educational aspect for kids and teens on sensitive topics such as racism, drug abuse, environmental pollution and discrimination. 

Their participant, Siraje's, story is a powerful testament to the transformative impact of skate-aid's programme. Hailing from Uganda, he not only learned to skate but also gained confidence and leadership skills through the organisation. Siraje's life took an extraordinary turn when he became a trainer, mentoring other youth in his community. His travel experiences not only broadened his horizons but also inspired his peers, proving that dreams can be realised even against challenging odds. 

“Siraje's journey showcases the holistic growth fostered by skate-aid. His personal transformation from a participant to a global representative exemplifies the program's effectiveness in instilling empowerment, self-belief and a sense of purpose. His story stands as a living embodiment of the organisation's mission to nurture talents, break barriers, and uplift communities,” said Egelkamp. 

The funds raised from the Beyond Sport X Under Armour partnership will help skate-aid grow. The support will aid in expanding its skateboarding programs, its safe space constructions and educational initiatives. Additionally, funds will contribute to mentorship, life skills training and access to essential resources, which will enable the organisation to positively impact more young lives and help create brighter futures.

Learn more about the incredible organisations we're working to support in the UK and Europe HERE. If you live in Spain or Germany, please consider visiting your local Under Armour store to support #SportforSocialChange! 


Steph & Ayesha Curry’s $50M Drive to Improve Oakland Public Schools