Here is an article taken from the LA Times. Consistent with it's national passtime status, skateboarding is quickly gaining popularity in high school sports. The article reports that three years ago there were only three high schools that offered the sport. Three years later there are over 40 along with a new competition between schools.
"Southern California is the place where alternative sports flourish because on any given day, thanks to wonderful weather and diverse geographic offerings, the sports options are overflowing.
Let's count the diversions: surfing, roller hockey, motocross, ice hockey, rugby, cricket, boxing, rowing, bowling, sailing, rock climbing, skiing, fencing .
Skateboarding growing in popularity among high school sports
HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK
The National High School Skateboarding Assn. began with seven high schools three years ago and has 40 schools represented this season, and it continues to gain participation and sponsorship.
May 04, 2009|ERIC SONDHEIMER, ON HIGH SCHOOLS
Southern California is the place where alternative sports flourish because on any given day, thanks to wonderful weather and diverse geographic offerings, the sports options are overflowing.
Let's count the diversions: surfing, roller hockey, motocross, ice hockey, rugby, cricket, boxing, rowing, bowling, sailing, rock climbing, skiing, fencing . . .
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So there I was Saturday morning in Culver City seeing the adventure spirit of teenagers exploring, experimenting and enjoying the adrenaline rush of skateboarding.
This was the Southland at its best, kids 14 to 18 from seemingly every ethnic background showing the magic of what can happen when diversity and ingenuity converge.
They came from Los Alamitos, Palmdale, Venice, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Santa Monica, Riverside and Long Beach to represent their high schools and compete as individuals in the fledgling National High School Skateboard Assn.'s Future AM Series, where by the end of June, the top 20 individuals will be invited to skate this summer in an X Games "best trick contest" on the X Games street course.
Last season, the top individual was Jeremiah Bohnet, a 5-foot-9, 130-pound junior from Palisades High whose shiny braces can be seen each time he flashes his friendly smile as he maneuvers his skateboard among the rails, banks and ledges on the concrete course.
"I love to skateboard and do tricks," he said.
"It's never-ending, a lot like video games, but you can never beat it."
There were free snow cones and free energy drinks, a DJ playing loud music and even some parents sitting in bleachers.
But mostly, there were kids from different stripes and communities, some with short hair, some with long hair, and all committed to engaging in a day of fun and games in a sport they cherish.
"When I skate, it's not for money or product," Bohnet said. "It's for the love of skating. All my troubles go away. It's almost another world."
Sports are known for bringing together people from different backgrounds, and the diversity among skateboarders is striking. And they even follow directions, such as putting on helmets when asked.
"A lot of people think skateboarding is about destruction and vandalism of private property," Bohnet said. "I think it's an art form. You're expressing yourself in a different form."
Bohnet really nailed what skating is all about. Skating is a different world where one can go an freely express themselves and forget for just a few hours all the pressures that come with growing up or having a job or whatever.
One of my favorite quotes is from Liz Kerr a Philidelphia Mom of three teenagers who says it this way: "skateboarding is a panacea for the problems of the American teen — racism, classism, crazed sideline parents, epidemic obesity, drugs, alcohol, and the isolation of video and computer games."
We'll keep pushing.
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