To celebrate the launch of their new Air Max 1 “The Wave,” Nike and Patta are teaming up on a series of films and talks that hone in on the relationships between shoes, style, and community. For the third installment, “Forward,” Nike SNKRS is hosting a live conversation that delves into the role of sports in empowering young people and enabling community development through the lens of the Patta Running Team and the Favela Street Foundation. The live panel talk will be streaming via the SNKRS app on Thursday, November 18 at 9 p.m. CEST from Amsterdam.
For a runner or football player, there are few things more important than a pair of sneakers. They’re a tool for performance, they boost agility and protect against harm, but they’re also a flashpoint for personality, a chance for athletic expression as one braves the trail, the course, the track, or the treadmill. It’s this unique combination of uses that make the sneaker so important—and who better to understand that potency and potential than Nike and Patta?
They’ll start off the conversation with Edson Sabajo, Patta cofounder and the captain of the Patta Running Team who will delve into the ways Patta has transformed from straight-up sneaker manufacturers into a community-driven project, cultural institution, and creative family. Sabajo is joined by Jermain Breidel, a hardcore runner and Patta Running Team coach, whose expertise on sport and the bonds it can forge is unmatched. To round out the chat is an appearance from Roxanne ‘Rocky’ Hehakaija, a SNKRS Live veteran and Amsterdam native who founded the Favela Street Foundation, which helps train young football coaches in communities across the Netherlands, Curacao, and Sudan.
Together the three of them will put their heads together to discuss the different ways in which they use sport to facilitate camaraderie. Each brings a unique perspective to the table that sheds light on the way people can come together over a common athletic interest, be it coaching, running, or playing.
The Patta Running Team in particular is a prime example of how a brand can, and did, mobilize its community to achieve a goal. Founded in 2010 by Sabajo, what began as a casual group of friends gathering to run has transformed into a multi-city operation with members training for everything from 10Ks to marathons to ultra marathons. Regardless of goal or distance, Patta Running Club maintains that it’s “primarily about coming together as a group, dragging each other over the finish line, seeing different places together, and most importantly, having fun.”
Football is the common language underlying the work of the Favela Street Foundation. Hekakaija, a seasoned player herself, founded the organization to empower youth in underserved communities through a series of workshops and training programs centered around street football. “By focusing on the development of young people, we ensure a sustainable positive change in the neighborhood,” she says. “Because we believe in the strength, talent and potential of these young people, we have created a program that supports them towards a positive(er) future.” The organization’s connection to Patta has spanned years. They’ve found common ground in a shared appreciation for authenticity and community building.
Sport, spirit, and sharing stories lie at the heart of all these ventures, as well as the renewed collaboration between Nike and Patta. Previous installments in the series have paid homage to the indelible link between sneakers, music, art, and identity. The new Air Max 1 “The Wave” and the surrounding series represents an extension of these shared values. As it’s revealed in a new maroon colorway with leather details, the journey is just beginning.
Tune in to the live panel talk "Forward" at 9 p.m. CEST on Nike SNKRS, here.