Target: House Committee on Education Chairman John Kline
Goal: Provide skateboarding as a PE elective.
All across the country, high schools and middle schools offer alternative physical education classes in place of a traditional “gym class” and these options are becoming more and more popular. Some options include water polo, weight lifting, soccer, basketball, and even rock climbing, but not skateboarding.
Skateboarding is a sport that works out just about every muscle in your body when doing it regularly and can serve as a great strength-building and cardio improvement regiment for many kids in this country. Not only does skateboarding’s mechanics focus on your lower body but it also strengthens your back and relieves some of the tension that kids can build by sitting down at desks all day.
Learning how to skate can be one of the greatest metaphors for navigating life, for good reason, too. The first example being that one of the very fundamentals of skating is that when you fall, you get right back up and try again. Secondly, if you finally accomplished the trick you’ve been waiting to land, you don’t just stop, you push harder and go on to the next trick that’s out of your reach. Third, every skater has their own style and the best way to skate is however you skate, so kids learn individualism in the process of learning tricks.
In skateboarding you make use of what you have; no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you have to make the best out of your situation, otherwise your situation makes the best out of you. Lastly, when someone you know falls while landing attempting a trick, you don’t ostracize them and tell them they should have done better, you help them get up and tell them they’ll get it the next time around. Skating teaches kids how to be unique, resourceful, determined, humble, ambitious, and supportive. Ask that more schools implement a skateboarding elective in order to incentivize children to exercise.
Dear Chairman Kline,
There is a giant stigma attached to skateboarding, particularly that it’s a sport for “losers” or is somehow “lesser” than other sporting activities, when we know this to be untrue. Skateboarders are some of the most determined, skillful, kind, and supportive people you could ever meet, especially the ones who are good at skating, because they understood what it took to get to their level. I think that if we were nationally offer skateboarding as an elective in place of physical education, then we can encourage more kids to participate in sport.
Skateboarding is one of the few sports where you are building up your opponents and rooting for them to land the trick, even if it means you lose. That’s because skating isn’t about competition, it’s about watching unique individuals perform to the best of their ability and hoping that you do as well. If you watch any skate competition, you will see team rivals clapping for one another in awe when someone lands a particularly difficult trick. You don’t see that in football or basketball.
Skating can teach kids the importance of individualism, team-building by positive reinforcement, striving to be excellent in anything you do, learning how to get back up when you fall down, and a myriad of different equally important life lessons, all while keeping the kids energized and active. Competitions like the Dew Tour, X-Games, and the regional contests all across the world have proven that skateboarding is a sport of world-class caliber, so we should teach it in school like the rest of our world-class sports.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SpohnRanch