Tony Hawk’s love of skateboarding started at the early age of nine and within five years he turned pro at age 14. At 16 he was one of the top pro skateboarders in the world. Hawk has racked up multiple awards and held the title of vertical skating world’s champion all at a very young age. Hawk wanted to share his love of skateboarding with kids growing up in low-income communities so he created Tony Hawk Foundation.
Only recently has skateboarding become a part of our popular culture, but there is still a sense that skateboarders are troublemakers. With the rise of Tony Hawk’s fame and charity activity skateboarding is being seen as a legitimate sport and way for kids to have fun and get exercise.
Hawk’s foundation brings public skate parks to communities in hopes that it will foster long lasting positive effects. Through special grants and events communities are able to create a safe public space where kids can have positive experiences. These skate parks do more than give these kids a place to skate, they help shape their understanding of the world around them. Many of them have seen crime and death, abandoned by their parents, and think that all adults will be like that. These skate parks show those same kids that there are adults in their life that do care and that they have something they can work hard at and be proud of. These skate parks have proven to bring communities together, giving kids hope and happiness for their future. Watch one example of how a skate park has changed a community.