The holocratic business method is alive and well with the Scalzi Originals Skateboarding School. Based in Stamford, Connecticut’s Scalzi Skate Park, the Scalzi Originals skateboarding staff focuses on empowering students to focus on developing executive FUNction life skills by skateboarding. Individuals on the autism spectrum, with Downs syndrome or any intellectual impairment are welcome and included in our current roster.
The skatepark is in the heart of the city and is the largest skate facility one in a forty mile radius with a growing skateboarding staff is largely made up of local skaters each with different skills and abilities. The company was founded on an idea of using skateboarding as a means to help develop executive function skills in my own students, some of which are on the autism spectrum. Part of this aim involved bringing positive changes to the skatepark. As it was when I first discovered it in the summer of 2015, inappropriate messages and obscene images had been sprayed over the skatepark floors, drug selling was being done out in the open. One parent who’s child finds therapy in skateboarding told me that the week before I first arrived and began documenting (YouTube: CoachBill007 ) that a young man came in brandishing a gun. Altogether, this gave the skatepark a non-welcoming feel to a great number of families with kids ready to try skateboarding.
The idea soon grew and the company was co-founded by a few skateboarders and I. Our website can be found at ScalziOriginals.US. In the case of the skateboarding school, a central objective is to not only teaching skateboarding as a fun cognitive-physical activity, but to also put it forth as an exceptional sport for individuals with neurological impairments. Skateboarding is one of many ideal sports, like sailing, surfing and tennis, which integrate dozens of executive function skills while strengthening, altering and increasing the number of active cross-hemispheric neural connections. All this facilitates greater cognitive processing.
It has been my intention that the skateboarding school be an engine that serves the community by actively offering training in a valuable cognitive-physical activity while collaborating with others to positively change the culture at the skatepark.A cash-making vehicle now exists whereby the local skaters have an opportunity to do something positive for others. It is a practice in servant leadership and social entrepreneurship.
Our next goal now that the school is trucking forward is to initiate a series of events and campaigns culminating in getting night lights installed at the skatepark. To offset costs we are exploring solar-aided night light posts. The skatepark itself is situated within a greater park, Scalzi Park, which has night lights throughout its many facilities, including its tennis courts. The makes it convenient for the community to use the facilities. That be said, their are no lights over at the skatepark.
After our night light campaign is successful and the school continues to flourish, the next phase involves a growth of the street course segment of the skatepark. As it stands, 25% of the park is available for street-course practice. The Scalzi Originals would like to expand that percentage. An invert ramp can be built, for example. Talks with a local father have begun on diversifying by creating an open-air training facility. All this is part of what has become a revitalization of the culture at Scalzi Skatepark.