Bu Naomi Hastings:
This month the folk from Totem Skateboarding are embarking on a massive tour around Australia, bringing the positive influence of skateboarding to regional and remote communities, and they are looking for your help to make this possible.
Totem Skateboarding is a non-for-profit organisation based in Sydney that runs free skate and creative workshops, coaching clinics and events. The co-founders, brothers David and Nigel Cameron, grew up in regional NSW and in their teens successfully rallied for a skatepark to be built in their community. Now they aim to inspire youth to make positive change in their local areas and enhance confidence and self-esteem through skateboarding. “We know how important it is to be doing something positive and physically good for you”, Nigel says.
So far on the tour around Oz, David they’ve been able to give out skateboards to kids sitting at skateparks with no boards to use. They are also aiming to bring “film, art and photography” to these communities, in alligment with their “Skate. Create. Empower” mission.
It was fantastic collaborating with Totem Skateboarding for the recent Parramatta skateboarding competition and jams. Their impact in Western Sydney has been profound, particularly in their partnership with the Campbelltown City Council, where they frequently hold skate programs, that are all about youth empowerment and promoting healthy, social activity.
Recently, Totem Skateboarding ran three massive free pop-up skate events in Glebe, in partnership with the City of Sydney. The event space – a basketball court – came to life as it had never been before, with ‘skateable sculptures’ built and installed at the court specially for the event. There were free BBQs, prizes and a performance from local music act Echelo Plant. It was incredible to see the massive turnout of skaters, including several pro-skaters, and the wide range of support from skate organisations, including Volcom, Vans and Pass~Port, for these events.
Skuws skater Marshall Abangan has been closely involved with Totem Skateboarding over the years and attests to the fantastic work Totem has done with local communities, particularly with their events and coaching programs and “helping get new skateparks/upgrading old ones”. Chantelle Bartolo for the past few years has been working as a coach for Totem whilst studying at uni to become a teacher. “The best thing about working for totem,” she says, “is helping people to try skateboarding for the first time and seeing them fall in love with it!”.
You can support Totem Skateboarding’s mission to reach out to communities all across Australia by donating to their Go Fund Me page: Totemoztour. Make sure to follow their adventures on Facebook and Instagram too!