Teenagers are especially vulnerable to the negative influence of peers and adults, as many of them have not yet developed their system of values and principles. Millions of young people become involved in unhealthy activities and start using substances, tobacco, and alcohol. Often, it happens when a person fails to find any appropriate guidance in life and cannot see attractive alternatives. Sports can be an antidote to that problem, as they help to engage people in an active lifestyle and motivate individuals to improve themselves and become better and stronger.
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Skateboarding is a street activity that requires the participants to master their physical skills and create self-organized performances. Skateboarding has become popular among young purple, who see it as a form of creative self-expression and a competitive sport at the same time. Creating a skateboard park at Grand Canon University will allow students to spend their free time in a productive way, which will have a positive impact on the community, promoting an active, healthy lifestyle.
The fact that many teenagers fall victim to the negative influence of their peers and embrace an unhealthy lifestyle. Lack of positive examples and uncertainty about the future lead them to the development of anxiety. Feeling lost and uncertain negatively affects motivation putting teenagers in a risk group for alcohol and substance abuse (Swan & Kendall, 2016). Falling victim to these harmful habits, such individuals never fulfill their potential and become unsatisfied, unhappy people. Problems with health also contribute to the worsening of the quality of life of such persons. Thus, mistakes that are made at a young age can ruin a person’s life, making it exceptionally difficult to fix the situation when it is already too late.
Success in studying requires hard work, well-developed cognitive abilities, high motivation, and excellent time-management as the education process is quite demanding. In the academic setting, an unhealthy lifestyle is associated with low energy and compromised motivation. Students who develop the habit of using substances, become less productive, and eventually drop out.
The Solution to the Problem
The solution to such a complex problem requires a multifaceted approach, and it will require substantial efforts to make a positive difference. Creating facilities for sports is the best way to make a positive impact on the situation. Such actions will popularize healthy and productive habits and discourage teenagers from using drugs. At the same time, it is critical to mention that the efforts might not lead to any positive consequences unless they are made with a deep understanding of the cultural environment in which young people live nowadays. Thus, the promotion of physical activity among teenagers might require focusing on unconventional sports that are popular among them. Snowboarding is an excellent example of such a competition, as it has been developed by enthusiasts in the streets of modern cities.
Providing an Alternative
Creating facilities that will allow young people to engage in various kinds of sports and physical activities will create an attractive alternative to unhealthy behaviors. Research has shown that teenagers who have a positive attitude towards sport and exercise regularly are less likely to start using alcohol, tobacco, and other substances (Hansen& Hansen, 2016). Promotion of healthy active life through the popularisation of sports will help discourage teenagers from developing bad habits.
Skateboarding is an excellent example of a sport that can be regularly practiced by a young person. This activity does not require a lot of expensive gear and equipment and can be learned individually. Apart from improving physical skills, this sport allows people to express themselves in an artistic way. These facts suggest that Grand Canyon University should support and popularise this sport via the creation of a modern skate park.
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Many students at Grand Canyon University support the idea of building a skate park. Some of them agreed to participate in short interviews and make comments on the subject. For instance, Jeremy Dawson says that he thinks that University needs a skate park, and Jeremy himself and many of his friends will use it on a regular basis (J. Dawson, personal communication, December 4, 2019). This answer shows that, as skateboarding is quite popular among students, the park will be visited by a large number of people every day.
Students, who are not going to use the park personally, also believe that it will still be beneficial for the community if University has such a site. Andrey White outlined that he thinks that as skateboarding is popular among teenagers, implementing the project will contribute to the progressive image of Grand Canyon University (A. White, personal communication, December 4, 2019). Some students also gave their suggestions, showing genuine interest in the idea.
Marie Moore suggested arranging a convenient public space around the park so that people can watch skaters comfortably sitting on benches. The student also emphasized that the park has to be located at a reasonable distance from residential buildings (M. Moore, personal communication, December 4, 2019). Such answers illustrate that the majority of students see the benefits associated with the project and support the idea.
Safety of skaters and pedestrians is another crucial issue the skate park will help to solve. Having such a site nearby, skater students can practice their hobby more often and use a specially designed place instead of doing in public places. Such a situation will guaranty that a passerby will not be accidentally hit by a skateboard. It will also decrease the chance of athletes hurting themselves while practicing, as now they are provided with a safer environment for their sport.
In addition to that, bringing skaters to such a park will protect benches, curbs, and other constructions in public places around the city that get damaged as a result of the illegal practice of skateboarding. Thus, the implementation of this project will ensure comfort and safety for people in the area and will allow local skateboarders to perform without breaking the law.
Active Lifestyle and Academic Performance
Apart from providing young people with the possibility to spend their time in a way that is productive and entertaining at the same time, creating a skate park will also have a positive impact on education. Sports have an overall positive effect on a person’s life and make people batter at studying. Research conducted in Spain to investigate the behavior of teenagers has shown a strong relationship between physical activity and academic success of students (Grao-Cruces, Nuviala, Fernández-Martínez, & Martínez-López, 2015).
Another study suggests that sport helps to improve the cognitive ability of individuals and their memory (Etnier et al., 2016). In addition to that, physical activities, such as skating, help young people to become more determent and disciplined and teach them how to organize their time. These skills will help students to accomplish their tasks and successfully overcome difficulties in education and every-day life.
Free-spirited and creative nature of this sport will also benefit students by allowing young people finding a productive way to express themselves by means of performance. This fact is beneficial for both students and University, as creativity is a significant component of the academic success of an individual. Practicing together, young people can meet friends who share their interests and socialize with them. Moreover, engaging in healthy competition, teenagers can learn how to handle such situations, which will be helpful for their academic and professional life. Thus, building a skate park at Grand Canyon University will further improve the quality of education by promoting sport and stimulating the social activity of the students and their creativity.
Potential Limitations of the Project
The cost of the project might create a source of limitation for its implementation. Designing and building a modern skate park might be relatively expensive, and the college authorities might not be able to provide the project with sufficient funding. This situation can be solved by finding sponsors who would support the project. The list of sponsors might include companies that specialize in sports gear, clothes, shoes, and equipment, and other related businesses.
These companies will provide the necessary materials for the project and help to organize the implementation. In exchange for their contribution, the sponsors will be allowed to put their logos and limited advertisement on the constructions at the site. In addition to that, the full list of these firms can be placed at the entrance of the park. As being mentioned at such a popular public place will have a positive effect on the company’s reputation and might bring many new customers, it will likely justify the expenses for the firm. Thus, the community and the college will receive a modern skate park, and the investors will get an opportunity to promote their goods and services, resulting in benefits for all involved parties.
In the absence of a good alternative, young people can turn to alcohol and other substances as a source of entertainment. This tendency has a decrementing effect on society, killing the unfulfilled potential of the youth. Sports provide teenagers with a possibility to engage in a healthy and productive behavior that helps them to improve themselves. Physical activity also has a positive effect on the cognitive abilities of people. All these facts suggest that universities should promote sport among students and provide them with special facilities for training and performing.
Skateboarding is a popular activity that includes performing various tricks, and it requires well-developed physical skills. Skateboarding is also a form of art that allows skateboarders to express themselves through their performance. This sport motivates young people to improve their physic and stimulates creativity. Creating a skate park will enable skateboarders to practice without taking the unnecessary risk associated with doing that in the street. Building such a park will also protect curbs, steps, and benches in other public places from damaging. Thus, Grand Canyon University needs to have a skate park that will provide everyone with the possibility to practice skateboarding and watch performances of other people.
Etnier, J. L., Wideman, L., Labban, J. D., Piepmeier, A. T., Pendleton, D. M., Dvorak, K. K., & Becofsky, K. (2016). The effects of acute exercise on memory and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 38(4), 331-340.
Grao-Cruces, A., Nuviala, A., Fernández-Martínez, A., & Martínez-López, E. J. (2015). Relationship of physical activity and sedentarism with tobacco and alcohol consumption, and Mediterranean diet in Spanish teenagers. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 31(4), 1693-1700.
Hansen, W. B., & Hansen, J. L. (2016). Using attitudes, age and gender to estimate an adolescent’s substance use risk. Journal of children’s services, 11(3), 244-260.
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Swan, A. J., & Kendall, P. C. (2016). Fear and missing out: Youth anxiety and functional outcomes. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 23(4), 417-435.