Skateboarding can, and should, be one of the most accessible sports in the world. Skateboards aren’t that expensive (sometimes cheaper than running shoes) and there isn’t a need for a specific court or area to practice, just some sort of pavement. However, depending on where you live, there can be certain barriers. Sometimes town councils or neighborhoods are against the activity, attempting to ban kids from skating on town property, and, sometimes, there just isn’t a safe section of pavement for people to skate on.
That was the case for kids living on the Hopi reservation in Tewa, Arizona, according to National Public Radio. For a while, locals were skating on gravel paths or on the main highway passing through the reservation, highway 264. But one group of five teens, known as Skate264, sought out a way to change that.
“We saw a whole bunch of skaters that were just skating on those little makeshift parks at the basketball courts or on the road or at hospitals or schools — anywhere that has concrete, pretty much. So we thought it would be a good idea to bring a skatepark out to Hopi just because we didn’t want anyone getting hurt or in trouble getting into places they shouldn’t be, trying to skate.” – Quintin Nahsonhoya, co-leader of Skate264 according to NPR
After two years of fundraising, sponsorship and merchandise sales, and a ton of support for the entire Hopi community, the five teenagers were able to bring a skate park with a ledge, kicker ramps, and a manual pad into the village. The expansions for the village won’t stop there, however, and the Tewa board of directors plans to add lights and a basketball court to the park.
“Skateboarders aren’t like how they’re perceived in movies, as punks or like people who just want to get into trouble. It’s just a hobby that we have… and the community understood that.” – Quintin Nahsonhoya, co-leader of Skate264 according to NPR
Image Credit: Skate264 on Instagram