Push to Heal: How Skateboarding Can Help Children to Learn New Skills

A Youth Leader helps a younger student skate in Mazar, Afghanistan

We believe skateboarding has the power to change lives. That’s why we are so excited to share this short film that demonstrates, through neuroscience, how skateboarding can heal the human brain and contribute to our capacity for learning new skills.

We were introduced to Hull Skateboarding earlier this year, when they explained the therapy work they have been doing with marginalized children at Hull Services in Canada. The organization provides behavioural and mental health services for children who have experienced trauma in their lives, such as drug and alcohol abuse, conflict, depression, anxiety, stress and bullying that result in academic underachievement or behavioural concerns. Children started coming to the skatepark as part of their therapy. Hull follows the neurosequential model from the ChildTrauma Academy, and staff began noticing that skateboarding contributed immensely to the children’s progress and wellbeing.

Explaining the direct connection between skateboarding and a child’s developing brain is a huge achievement of this film. It highlights the therapeutic benefit of skateparks, and explores how children can become more social and can cope better with stress through spending time on a skateboard. This new lens is important because it provides added value to skateparks as safe spaces for children to play and learn.

At our Skate Schools, children are learning the same fundamental life skills that this film explores — things like social etiquette, empathy, perseverance and goal-setting. The conclusion that skateboarding can play a key role in lifelong learning is especially powerful to understand when considering children who are growing up in places of conflict and poverty.

Students wait their turn to skate in Phnom Penh (l) and Johannesburg (r)

Please watch and share the film and help us support evidence-based research on skateboarding, so that more children around the world can benefit.

Find out more about the work we do and how you can support us by visiting skateistan.org.

*The images in this blog are photos from Skateistan Skate Schools and are not linked to Hull Services.

Non-profit organization empowering children through skateboarding and education. Find out more and support at skateistan.org.

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