We serve and mentor youth and young adults in action sports inspired by God’s love.
Most people think of skateboarding and snowboarding as a hobby, but for many of these individuals it’s more than that; it’s an identity and lifestyle. Skateboarders and snowboarders are an unreached people group; a nation with their own customs, language, dress, and culture.
In Matthew 28, Jesus gives the great commission to make disciples of people from every nation and culture. As native people of this action sports culture, we are equipped and compelled to share the Good News everywhere we go: at the skateparks, or on the hill.
Youth today experience an unprecedented degree of brokenness and hurt. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are alarmingly prevalent among youth populations in Canada (Findlay, 2017); There is an observable and felt need for mentorship, belonging, and healing among youth.We believe that God loves people, and wants to see them restored and healed into the fullness that they were always intended to live out of. Motivated by God’s love, The Inside is grounded in a desire to in turn go out, and love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
How does skateboarding fit within the picture? The short documentary Push to Heal (Flying Fox Productions, 2018) dispels many of the misinformed stereotypes surrounding the activity and community of skateboarding, and presents skateboarding as an effective therapeutic milieu for youth. Within the activity of skateboarding, youth may find new sense of creativity, expression, and community.
“Time spent on a skateboard by young people can help to heal their brains from past trauma”
– Dr. Emily Wang, Ph.D., R. Psych (Director of Trauma-Informed Services, Hull Services)
Utilizing skateboarding as a tool, the mission of The Inside is to be a light within our local skateboarding communities, and the broader youth community as a whole. Within this broad vision, our mission may be broken down into three crucial and grounding aspects: to engage youth, equip leaders, and build community.
Engaging Youth. We believe in meeting youth where they’re at, whether it be at the skatepark, the local hill, or in the streets of our communities. On the common ground of an interest in skateboarding, we’re able to build strong and meaningful relationships of trust with youth from a wide array of backgrounds. Action sports culture is a standalone subculture, with it’s own distinct language, cultural practices, and values. As members of this subculture, we feel strongly that we have been equipped with the tools and resources to effectively reach out and be a light within the action sports community.
Equipping Leaders. As mentors, we intentionally invest into youth so they will live a life of investing into others. We desire to foster an environment which encourages ideas and actions which better our communities. Through volunteer service projects, we work to provide venues through which youth can learn the value of giving back into their communities.
Building Community. Having a committed network of encouragement and support makes all the difference in the life of a youth. Our mission is to create an open and inclusive community which meets each young individual where their at, regardless of life’s circumstances. Our name itself embodies this vision: that youth would find themselves on The Inside, or a part of something which accepts them for who they are.
As a Christian-based grass roots organization, we hold to a foundational statement of faith which guides all of our actions, outreaches, and programs. Click here if you would like to read our statement of faith.