When he’s not catching air or landing a 900, Tony Hawk is making it possible for young people from low income areas to practice some sweet tricks of their own.
The Tony Hawk Foundation looks to support teens. This includes building skateparks across America. According to the 43-year-old (soon to be 44!), growing up near a skatepark gave him a place to practice and share ideas.
“With so many people interested in skating now, I want to help provide the same opportunity and facilities to at-risk kids living in challenging areas,” said Hawk. “I knew I had a voice to enable change and I began advocating the importance of skateparks in low-income areas.”
Not much of a skater now? No worries. Hawk wasn’t either. He was 9 when his brother first introduced him to the sport. And it wasn’t life changing. It wasn’t until he went to the skatepark that he became inspired.
“I eventually went to the skatepark and that was the moment that made me want to pursue it as far as I could,” relayed Hawk. “I was amazed at seeing people fly in and out of steep bowls, and I made it my goal to do the same.”
He turned pro at age 16. But not every ramp has a smooth dismount, and Hawk definitely hit a few bumps. He didn’t let the hard times stop him. His advice for teens with a dream:
“Follow your passion and do what you love even if it's not the most popular or ‘cool’ thing you could do,” Hawk stated. “You will be happy in the end because you will love your work.”
As Hawk approaches his 44th birthday (May 12), he says the one person he’d want to catch some air with is President Obama.
“That way he can appreciate the determination and perseverance it takes to ride a skateboard, and be inspired to approve more skatepark facilities across the country.”
What can you do?
Start an awareness campaign about this cause.
Make a video about the need for skateparks in your neighborhood.