Skateboarding is Blowing Up:
Skateboarding is becoming more popular in countries around the world. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing sports, as societies impression of it shifts from rebellious counter culture to mainstream and beneficial to society.
Children are becoming active in the sport at earlier ages and we’re seeing incredible stories of just how impactful skateboarding can really be.
Making an Impact:
Having a sport to continually work at is becoming increasingly shown to promote creativity and dedication amongst kids. This is especially prevalent amongst children who typically are not seen to embody these characteristics in an environment like school. Suddenly they have an activity that they look forward to, that challenges them to fail often but continue to work harder in order to reach goals. This in turn increases traits like self confidence, bravery, and entrepreneurship as kids go to great lengths to continue to grow as skaters.
What’s even more incredible than seeing children with increased access to a sport that is healthy and building strong character traits, is seeing the ways in which it inspires everyone else! Kids are amazed by their peers who skate to school, who land new tricks they are still working on, and how quickly they are improving at a new sport with the time they are dedicating to practice.
But we’re not just talking about kids being impressed by other kids. Adults are inspired by the difference that can come from within a child who suddenly has something that they are passionate about. They are seeing children learn lessons that didn’t seem to get through to them from a classroom setting. They are witnessing a dedication that many adults don’t possess about anything, much less a hobby that is so good for you!
When realizing that a simple sport can ignite within children, new senses of self confidence, bravery, dedication, creativity, and excitement… who wouldn’t want to spread that opportunity?
Introducing kids to skateboarding is a trend that’s happening in many different places and forms.
From crowdsource donations to dedicated program building, communities are coming together to offer new opportunity to kids that otherwise might not have the ability to skateboard.
Crowdsourcing has blown up for many different reasons, the main one being that people all over the world are sympathizing with causes that they can make a small but meaningful difference in. The same is happening in the skateboarding community. From GoFundMe’s raising money for skateboards for kids, to Kickstarter goals of rebuilding maliciously destroyed skate parks, there are dozens of crowdsourcing efforts to increase opportunity for skating.
Some organizations have been created specifically to take this issue into their own hands. Skateistan was the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. Operating in Afghanistan, South Africa, and Cambodia, their mission is to empower children and youth through skateboarding and education.
“Oliver Percovich, the Australian skateboarder who founded Skateistan in Kabul and is now its executive director, explains how the children who make up 70% of the population of Afghanistan often have only roadsides in which to play, with girls in particular not being allowed to ride bicycles or climb trees. But they are allowed to skateboard – hence Skateistan’s efforts to teach boys and girls alike to skateboard alongside an educational arts-based curriculum ranging from world cultures, human rights and environmental studies to nutrition, hygiene and storytelling” (The Guardian).
Many other organizations have also been started to not only offer a hybrid program of skating and education, but provide funding for boards and equipment, build skateparks, and increase accessibility for children everywhere.
Many cities are getting involved in the action themselves as they notice more and more positive effects of children having the ability to become increasingly involved in skateboarding. They are putting time and money into building community skateparks with the goal of bringing kids off the streets and into the park. What they’ve found is that kids are drawn to activity without rules, guidance, or coaching. Rather, they enjoy an outlet where they can challenge themselves and build their own community culture. This has proven to be an asset for entire communities that are not only recognizing that, but wanting to embrace it with new skateparks to bring kids together.
Changing the Game:
We at Anchor chief know firsthand what a difference a skateboard can make in the life of a child, because it has changed each of our lives for the better. We love hearing stories of how communities are continuing to spread the joy of skating with kids who traditionally wouldn’t have access to the sport.
Skateboarding, like any other sport, can have serious barriers to entry. Most obvious is having access to a skateboard in the first place. It’s not like a soccer or basketball that can sometimes be found at a local community center, or purchased at low prices. It is difficult for kids to get their hands on a skateboard of their own.
People have learned that skating brings such incredible senses of community, that they want to share that with everyone. What seems like a huge barrier to one child, can be solved by a simple donation of another. It’s incredible to see the skate community not only grow but actively improve inclusivity to bring an incredible sport to even more young lives!
If you’re interested in spreading the sport of skateboarding to someone new this year, checkout our children’s skateboards for kids at all levels of experience. Whether you want to share with someone you know or donate to spread opportunity across the globe, we would love to be a part of it!