Free Movement Skateboarding (FMS) supports the wellbeing, empowerment, and social cohesion of youth through skateboarding in Athens, Greece.
A small group of friends founded the organisation in 2017 with the belief that skateboarding could benefit disadvantaged groups. They were inspired by the work of a community skateboarding project in Palestine (SkatePal).
The leaders, Will Ascott and Ruby Mateja, adapted SkatePal’s ideas to the Athenian scene and created a mobile skate park to reach underserved communities.
The initial focus on refugees quickly extended to include all Athenian youth from disadvantaged regions. By offering free equipment, guidance, youth work discussions, and an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment, FMS skateboarding sessions go beyond learning to skate and strive to promote three core values among participants: well-being, empowerment, and social cohesion, regardless of nationality.
So far, the organisation has held over 800 sessions for almost 2,500 participants from 59 different backgrounds. To match growth, it will also open a youth centre in 2023 with creative workshops, homework help and other activities for more young Athenians.
FMS positions itself as a long-term source of inspiration to young people in Athens who will be healthy and active citizens and bring about positive changes for their city.
Free Movement project website