There’s no question that being a kid can be one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. Between things constantly changing, having little autonomy, and uncertainty about what’s to come, many of us look back on childhood both with fondness as well as gratitude that we are now adults. Another difficult part about being young is the bullying that unfortunately occurs in schools all around the world. In order to help some of the 10 million students bullied in schools each year, the X Games and ESPN created the ShredHate campaign.
In order to help make schools around the country friendlier places, the X Games is empowering kids to stand up to their peers when they see bullying taking place. ESPN and the X Games acknowledge that sports and athletics can be both a cause of as well as a refuge from bullying. For those of us that are involved in sports we know that some of the truest, most open moments we have in life are when we are playing the sport that we are most passionate about. Athletics can be an incredible and healthy way to find a release from the outside pressures of growing up. They want to harness the power and passion behind sports to make kids more confident and kind toward one another.
According to their stats, 1 in 3 students will face bullies in school at some point. The X Games hopes that by educating kids on what bullying looks like and how it hurts their friends and peers, they’ll encourage adolescents to help stop bullies in their tracks. Part of the #shredhate campaign is to implement a Solutions Coach in schools. These brave individuals attempt to correct instances of bullying whenever they see them and help to create inclusive environments.
We all can think back to a time in our youth when those around us were less than kind. Many of us have just conceded that bullying is a part of growing up. However, with instances of self harm and even childhood suicide on the rise, ESPN and The X Games have decided that enough is enough. The campaign also encourages each and every one of us to actively combat bullies and work to make our society more caring and inclusive. This campaign causes us to ask ourselves, what can I do in my own life to help this situation? And, how can I use sports to create a kinder, easier world to grow up in?