PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes will host a beginner skateboarding clinic for blind and visually impaired youths at the Adidas training facility at 2318 NW Vaughn St. in Portland on Oct. 23.
The event will help young skateboarders learn the basics, like balancing, pushing and riding in a controller environment. Each rider will be given a free skateboard, pair of skate shoes, helmet, T-shirt and skate tool, which they can keep.
“Sports and physical activity are a catalyst for individuals who are blind and visually impaired to reach their greatest potential by learning new skills, developing confidence and gaining independence,” the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes said in an announcement this week.
Blind professional skater Dan Mancina will also be in attendance to teach and hold a Q&A session after the clinic.
While Mancina was not born blind, he was declared visually impaired by the age of 23 due to a degenerative eye disease. Now, Mancina travels the world to share his love of skateboarding with other disabled athletes.
“Dan’s loss of sight severely cut short his dreams of a career in skateboarding and led to periods of depression as he faced his new reality,” the nonprofit said. “Dan’s resilience, however, was stronger than his diagnosis and slowly he began to take the steps to skate again. Painstakingly learning and relearning trick by trick, he was able to once again enjoy the activity he loved.”
Other sponsors of the event include Adidas, Keep Pushing Inc., REAL Skateboards and Pro-Tec helmets. NWABA was formed by a group of visually impaired students in 2007 to help the blind find pathways to physical activity.
Today, NWABA provides more than 1,900 blind youths, adults and military veterans with tailored programs that aim to improve self-confidence and promote independence.