[VIDEO] Using Skateboards to Help People Change the World

When Peter Metzger (’10) came to Bethel his brother suggested he should bring his skateboard along since it could allow him get to class a little faster. Metzger discovered that with the help of his skateboard, he could leave his room at 7:58 a.m. and make it to an 8:00 a.m. class on time.

Since his time as a student Metzger has discovered something else about skateboards–they could enable him to “help people: change the world.” This is the mission for Envision Skate Collective, an organization started by Metzger that sells hand-crafted skateboards and then gives 50% of net profits to charitable organizations.

As part of this mission, Envision is hosting the 2012 Pinhook Slalom Open, a June 23 skateboarding competition that will raise money for charity: water.

We recently interviewed Metzger on video–below you can see the completed video which will be shown at the WFRN Friend Fest in a few weeks. Bethel is proud to have graduates like Metzger who want to take their passion, skills, and education and use them to help others.

We also asked Metzger some questions about the upcoming event:

Q: For those who have never heard of this kind of race, what will the event entail? What can spectators expect to see and experience?

A: In slalom skateboarding, racers compete to successfully navigate a set of cones as cleanly and quickly as possible. The fastest riders will advance through the brackets in our double-elimination tournament to determine the winner. We will have three levels of competition: Beginner, for those new to the sport; Amateur, for those with moderate experience; Professional, for those competitive on a worldwide level.

Q: If people want to come out and watch, what do they need to know about attending the event?

A: Admission to watch the race is free to the public. The event is very family-friendly and competitors are glad to interact with those in attendance. The race takes place in the middle of a park and there’s a large grassy area and a playground adjacent to the race course, so kids can stay entertained between races. Spectators will want to bring lawn chairs to sit on as there is no seating available in the park and we recommend that they bring their own refreshments.

Q: What time is the event?

A: The first rounds of practice and qualifying will begin between 8:30 and 9 am, but for the best racing and action plan to be there a little later. Peak action will likely be between 10am-1pm and then again from 2pm-6pm.

Q: Why are you hosting this event? What do you hope it will accomplish?

A: There are two sides to this event. In regard to the skateboarding aspect of the race, I hope to establish a new standard of professionalism and organization expected from slalom racing. Many events are small grassroots races organized and run by just one or two people – often competitors themselves. These events are a lot of fun and vital to the sport, but we also need to see bigger events with greater organization and a larger volunteer force to keep things running smoothly. For this race, we’ve brought together about 35 volunteers who are donating their day to keep things rolling (pun intended).

Beyond this, we’re also aiming to raise $5000 for charity: water, a non-profit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. $5000 is enough to provide clean water to a village of 250 people (just $20 per person), drastically changing their lives forever. To raise this money, we’ll be hosting a silent auction at the race, accepting direct donations, and donating all net proceeds from the race (entry fees/sponsorship) toward the project. You can donate online and also check the progress of our goal on the charity: water website.

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