Words by Smiley Team
Skateboarding has been around since the 1950s when some California kids decided to stick some wheels to a piece of wood and see what they could do.
Since then, the sport has undergone numerous changes, fluctuating popularity, and worldwide acclaim. One figure in the sport that’s endured is Tony Hawk, international skating superstar and the founder of Skatepark Project. The Skatepark Project started in 2002.
“After receiving thousands of e-mails from parents and children across America who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases arrested for skating on public property, Tony Hawk decided to establish a nonprofit organization whose mission would be to serve this population,” they say.
“He wanted to help them develop quality places to practice the sport that gives them much needed exercise and a sense of self-esteem.”
The Skatepark Project has helped open nearly 600 parks by donating over $10 million.
Now, it is helping open an Arizona skatepark with help from local professional skateboarder Douglas Miles Jr. The project will help fund Miles Jr.’s long-held vision of a professional-quality skate park in his community of Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona.
“We post all the time on social media and we’re active on it,” Miles Jr. told Arizona Central. “We just show us skating, that's what skaters do, is film their tricks and it’s fun.
“So when the Skatepark Project saw us, they were like, ‘OK, they're putting in work and this is a worthy project.’ I talked to the director (of the Skatepark Project) and he said, ‘Yeah, you guys are next.’”
As it stands the Whiteriver skatepark is mostly homemade obstacles but the Skatepark Project will be providing anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000 in funding depending on the final scope of the project.
DONATE: If you want to support what the Skatepark Project is doing consider donating.
SUPPORT: Support projects to create space for your community, like the Skatepark Project is doing. Having spaces for people to come together and support each other is important.