Ambler, Pa. (WTXF) - There are over 9 million skateboarders in the U.S., add in millions of street cyclists and your family has been touched by the growing culture, according to recent statistics. Fair or not to many the culture is synonymous with vandalism and drug use but our Bill Anderson spoke to a self proclaimed skater who is using his experiences to teach the next generation how to enjoy skating and not be at odds with society….For Goodness Sake.
Depending on your perspective the skating, biking lifestyle that exists either represents a group of vandals destroying property and disrupting traffic or a unique maybe misunderstood culture.
“They’re judged all the time for skating in the city and being kicked out of places, they’re just trying to skate.”
FOX 29's Bill Anderson probably fell on the critics side. Seeing them recklessly in traffic and damaging landmarks and public places didn’t sit well with him. Then he met Sean Khathavong the owner of a new skateboard academy and got a different perspective.
“You’re talking about a kid from North Philly because of skateboarding I learned how to snowboard I went on a mountain somewhere in Utah. I was afraid to get on an airplane but I got on it because I wanted to go," he said.
He grew up in North Philly and admittedly fit the negative stereotype that many have of skaters.
“I was definitely a delinquent, I mean I went to alternative school, but I was a product of my environment," Khathavong said.
The same environment that many face, parents working several jobs and not around, he says skating helped him so he wanted to share the positives while helping kids avoid his mistakes, so he opened Ambler Skateboarding Academy to give them a safe, legal place to go.
When Bill walked into class 2 things were immediately apparent. First, skating lessons are important but life lessons matter more.
Second, even if young suburban kids don’t fit the typical definition of those having run ins with the law, in the skating community they are and parents want to support their interests but make them aware of how their future actions will shape how society views them.
The skateboarding academy opened my eyes to the fact that kids in diverse communities need support and guidance and the best people to provide it are people who have lived it for better and worse…For Goodness Sake