The LA84 Foundation hosted its first convening on skateboarding, bringing together experts from the skateboarding nonprofit world to collaborate and further the impact of their sport on youth across Southern California and beyond. Led by LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril and USC Annenberg Lecturer Neftalie Williams, the group discussed how to scale their respective organizations, shared strategies for engaging youth through skateboarding, and set benchmarks to evaluate and improve upon when assessing a program’s success. “We need to move out of the heart phase and into the brain phase,” said Thomas Barker, Director of the International Association of Skateboarding Companies.
LA84’s groundbreaking survey of youth sports participation in LA County showed that skateboarding had the highest play frequency of any sport. Yet, there remains a need to convert this passion into programs designed at reaching and keeping youth involved. Skateboarding can also teach skills and instill positive habits in young boarders, such as a commitment to community service through organizations like Stoked Mentoring, led by founder, former X-Games host and convening attendee Sal Masekala. Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.