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Redefining the skateboarding demographic.

Story by Lena Ormsby | Photos by Tyler Heesterman

Through the work of Sarinah Hurford and her initiative called Wellness Riders, she is redefining the skateboarding demographic.
After discovering her love for the sport Sarinah has co-founded Wellness Riders to empower rangatahi to recreate sporting stereotypes. Growing up she felt as though she has been “missing out” and so has dedicated incredible effort to ensure rangatahi today, don’t miss
out on life opportunities and experiences.
Before co-founding Wellness Riders Sarinah attended a skateboarding workshop held by her now business partner and, “found it inspiring and empowering to find other females to
skate with”.
Sarinah’s example shows us all, how it is never too late to try new things and discover our hidden potential. Because of Sarinah and Wellness Riders, our community’s youth have a safe, fun, and exciting open space to develop their resilience. “Wellness riders is for the mental, physical and social connection” thus highlighting how this initiative gives rangatahi well rounded learning experiences and teaches them important life skills.
It is heartwarming to see loved community members such as Sarinah, “help people feel more empowered and comfortable within themselves and make more friendships” to
ensure happy futures for our youth.
Especially when working with young wāhine, it is clear Wellness Riders prioritises inclusivity by encouraging all students, “to shift the stigma around skateboarding being a boy’s sport”. Whereby we are lucky to live in such a modern age that allows young people to take every opportunity available to them, whilst encouraging our generation to dismantle our society’s stereotypes and find our own passions.
Sarinah most loves how skateboarding, “is an individual sport but a team environment” where each individual has their own goals to work on, with the support and encouragement of those their age surrounding them, to awhi their progress.
Within minutes of being amongst Sarinah and her students you cannot miss the overwhelming feeling of “community unity”. With skateboarding coaches being school students themselves, there is no social or hierarchal barrier that limits each student’s
growth and development when skating.
It is empowering and inspiring, to see young rangatahi work together as friends to see each other succeed. The genuine smiles you see from the youth skating to Sarinah’s contagious laughter, you can’t help but join and start skating yourself!
Not only is Wellness Riders an inclusive fun, family, learning environment, but “a lifestyle”.