LINKS
2017-05-18 / Headlines

Local Skate Parks to Host Major Comp

BY BRANDON ECOFFEY
LCT EDITOR


The two locations where the event will take place is the Toby Eagle Bull Memorial Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park in Pine Ridge on Saturday, May 20, 2017, and the Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park located in Manderson on the campus of the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The two locations where the event will take place is the Toby Eagle Bull Memorial Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park in Pine Ridge on Saturday, May 20, 2017, and the Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park located in Manderson on the campus of the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on Sunday, May 21, 2017. PINE RIDGE -- The largest skateboard competition in Colorado has relocated and is set to take place at two locations this weekend on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

“The Stronghold Society and Up Mountain Switchel are taking the ONE Gathering Skate For Life on the road from Denver to Lakota Country,” said Stronghold Society founder, Walt Pourier.

The two locations where the event will take place is the Toby Eagle Bull Memorial Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park in Pine Ridge on Saturday, May 20, 2017, and the Wounded Knee Four Directions Skate Park located in Manderson on the campus of the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on Sunday, May 21, 2017.


”Skateboarding has many benefits: it builds self-confidence and self-esteem; encourages individuality and creativity; teaches social skills and respect for others; and brings communities together. It also promotes good health as it builds strength, balance and coordination as well as cardiovascular improvement. We have found that these benefits are extremely valuable to the Native youth,” said the Stronghold Society on its webpage. ”Skateboarding has many benefits: it builds self-confidence and self-esteem; encourages individuality and creativity; teaches social skills and respect for others; and brings communities together. It also promotes good health as it builds strength, balance and coordination as well as cardiovascular improvement. We have found that these benefits are extremely valuable to the Native youth,” said the Stronghold Society on its webpage. “We are extremely excited that the Stroghold Society and Up Mountain Switchel have chosen to hold this event in our community,” said Alice Phelps, principle at WKDS. “It is important that we provide our youth with healthy outlets and skateboarding is something we have seen our students gravitate towards since the creation of the park here in Manderson. We hope that as many of our community members as possible will join us to celebrate life and our youth,” she added.

The city of Denver had played host to the event in the past, but the growth of the competition was too much for city planners who struggled to accommodate those in need of parking. Denver’s loss, however, has proven to be the reservations gain as the Stronghold Society will host the events at the two skateparks that it built with the help of local community members and donations.

“The first WK4-Directions Skatepark was completed in the town of Pine Ridge, SD with major support from Jeff Ament, Vitalogy Foundation, Pearl Jam/Ten Club, the Tony Hawk Foundation, and VANs Off The Wall. This has become a model we use for future skateparks in other Native Communities,” writes the Stronghold society.

The Stronghold Scoiet is nonprofit is dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through the LIVE LIFE Call To Action Campaigns.

“Skateboarding has many benefits: it builds selfconfidence and self-esteem; encourages individuality and creativity; teaches social skills and respect for others; and brings communities together. It also promotes good health as it builds strength, balance and coordination as well as cardiovascular improvement. We have found that these benefits are extremely valuable to the Native youth,” said the Stronghold Society on its webpage.

WKDS has embraced the presence of the skate-park on its campus as it has attempted to provide culturally appropriate programming for its Lakota student body that is made up of children from every district on the reservation.

“Our whole goal is to create a learning environment where our youth are equipped with the tools they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom,” said Phelps. “Events like this are always welcomed as they help our youth grow as people and also gives the community something to do.”

The skateboarding movement on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has grown exponentially since the creation of the parks in Pine Ridge in 2011, and Manderson in 2015.

Jeanne Eagle Bull, founder of Oyate Wookiye, and sister to the late Toby Eagle Bull, for which the Pine Ridge park is named after, said that she expects the sport to continue to grow on the Oglala Lakota Nation.

“Oyate Wookiye and the Eagle Bull family always support and promote positive skateboarding events for Pine Ridge kids and young adults. For Oyate Wookiye, it is with much optimism that we continue to provide skate events at the WK 4-Directions Toby Eagle Bull Memorial Skate Park and look forward to the outgrowth of skate events across the skateboarding scene on Pine Ridge and nearby communities,” she said.

The family of Toby Eagle Bull puts on a large skatecomp every year during the Oglala Lakota Nation Fair and Rodeo.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at editor@lakotacountrytimes.com)

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