Hustling freely under the bridge

A community of teenagers polish their skills in skating, basketball and biking in an underground space in Prague 7, Czech Republic for free. The space covered under the shadows of bridges that holds the main highway above leading to Prague 7 adjacent to the Vltava River is filled with speeding vehicles and pedestrians. But under these bridges, young teenagers meet thrice a week in the evening to learn basketball, freestyle Bicycle Motocross (BMX) and skateboard stunts. Often, the teenagers paint the walls with futuristic messages of freedom, liberty and youth culture. Michael Jade (name changed), 11-year-old skater, from Košice, Slovakia, said, “We meet in this space as friends to share our skills in skating, sports and art. Due to rising flow of tourists, this city is getting crowded with construction sites erupting at untouched places. There are not enough free spaces in Prague where we can practise our skills without judgement from onlookers so we decided to use this underground space where nobody can watch us. Here, we are free to make mistakes, learn from each other and grow.”

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