The First Annual Oklahoma Slam Begins Today

Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan
3/16/12

The Nashoba Youth Foundation’s dream of hosting a skateboarding competition has finally come true. The foundation will be hosting the 1st Annual Oklahoma Slam on March 16-17 in Poteau, Oklahoma at Skatepark Off Broadway.

“I thought we can’t just let the park sit there we got to do something with it and what better way than to have a skateboard competition,” said Lisa Fabian, founder of the Nashoba Youth Foundation.

The Nashoba Youth Foundation (Nashoba means “wolf” in Choctaw) is a non-profit organization designed to develop and enhance education, health and safety amount at- risk American Indian youth.

The youth are excited about skateboarding and the upcoming slam, said Fabian. Five boys have created a skateboarding group called “Stunt Shock” and are taking the upcoming slam serious by practicing every day.

“The group are making skateboarding videos and they tell me to check them out,” said Fabian. “I never dreamt it would be like this for the kids.”

The Nashoba Youth Foundation has wanted to host a skateboard competition since last year when they began developing plans to have skate parks built in rural southeast Native Oklahoma, adds Fabian who is Choctaw, Cherokee and Osage.

“Competitions and gatherings really get the kids motivated and it also brings out the communities like the kid’s grandma and grandpa,” said Wayne Bennett, Nashoba Youth Foundation board members.

Skatepark Off Broadway, where the slam will be held, is the first skate park the foundation had built by Greg Mize and Ryan Rodschwit who operate Skateparks LLC. The grand opening of the park was on December 10.

After the grand opening Fabian began working hosting a slam by networking and calling different companies to help sponsor the event.

With help from Nashoba Youth Foundation Board Members Todd Harder, (Creek) and Bennett, (Seminole), Fabian was able to get twenty sponsors.

The sponsors include Vans Off the Wall, Independent, American Nomad Skateboards, Honey Skateboards, Native Skates, Best Western, Art of Board and Long Lake Resort.

The slam will kick off with a Skate Camp on Friday, March 16 from 4 pm to 8 pm. The camp will have special guests professional skateboarder Bill Danforth and the Short Bus Crew. Both guests will work with beginner to advanced skateboarders on skate tips and contest runs.

“Bill Danforth and the Short Bus Crew will show youth what they can do in their park,” said Bennett, Nashoba Youth Foundation board member. “Maybe the kids never thought to do that trick or how to air over that hip.”

On Saturday, March 17 the Skate Contest will take place from 10 am- 7 pm. The Nashoba Youth Foundation made sure there were enough categories for all ages and skill levels.

“We do want all the kids to come out and try something,” said Bennett, 48, who has been skateboarding all his life.

Throughout the day there will be live music, raffles and Bennett will have a table set up to educate youth on how to care for their skateboards.

Bennett will show skateboarders how to clean the bearings and tighten the trucks on their skateboards. Bennett said it will be really beneficial to the skateboarders since there isn’t a skate shop in Poteau.

The Nashoba Youth Foundation plans to have a slam every year and Fabian hopes it gets bigger and bigger every year.

“We are going to be the pioneers for the Oklahoma slams,” said Fabian. “As far as I know there aren’t any slams in Oklahoma and we want to change that.”

The Nashoba Youth Foundation would like to send a special thank you to the Tony Hawk Foundation, Kathy Guinn, Todd Harder, and Wayne Bennett for the continued support and encouragement from the first stage of the projects. The Poteau Chamber and Oklahoma Traveler for their continued support. And Native Skateparks LLC for the wonderful construction of the skate park in Poteau.

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