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Young skateboarder taking talents to the next level

Kaden Lewis, 10, with his board and Woodward certificate.

Kaden Lewis, 10, with his board and Woodward certificate.

ANNIE BLACKBURN
Staff Writer

Kaden Lewis has always loved to skateboard, but it’s only been in the last two years that he’s become passionate about his sport.
Though his skill set landed him a third place finish in a bowl competition in Concord, it’s where his skills could take him that really makes the 10-year-old smile.
For the past two summers, Lewis has attended Camp Woodward, one of the largest skate camps in the United States. Kids ages 7-17 come from all over the world to attend annually. Any skater wanting to take their game to the next level attends the camp that is equipped with a total of 17 indoor and outdoor skate parks and a mega-ramp. The training in the program is very intensive and the camp counselors are professional skateboarders and former campers. In addition to the basic camp, Woodward has a program called the Talent Advancement Program, or TAP. The TAP program invites only a select few campers back in the summer for an All Star competition.
To be TAPPED means that a skater is given the opportunity to receive full or partial scholarships to come back to Camp Woodward for the following summer.
Lewis was TAPPED both years.
“I was really surprised. I know last year was kinda my first year, and I did a lot of contests and stuff. I didn’t know if I was going to do it this year,” he said.
“A lot of kids don’t get TAPPED their first year,” says Kaden’s father, Joshua Lewis.
It’s been Kaden’s hard work and dedication that gave him the skills that earned him the TAP, but it was also because of the love and sacrifice of his family.
“For the past two years, we’ve been going sometimes four times a week, but (The Way Skate Ministry) where he skates in Lincolnton is only open two times a week,” Joshua said. “So that means we’re either going to Hickory or Cornelius.”
Though he didn’t attend the last week of camp last year, Kaden is hopeful to go back and compete for the scholarship opportunities. The discounted rate for the TAP week is $899. According to Kaden’s father, there is a company in Charlotte that may be interested in sponsoring him, but rather than focus on impressing financial backers, Kaden is more concerned with honing the skills that he hopes will one day land him in the X-Games.
“Every little bit helps, though,” said Joshua.
Kaden is currently preparing for another wooden bowl competition in Concord at Soul Ride skate park on July 19, and though he’s anxious to get back to Camp Woodward, Kaden remains focused on his passion and keeping those X-Games dreams alive.
When asked what message he would give you young people that had a hobby they were passionate about, Kaden said, “If you want to give up, don’t. Just keep on going as much as you can. Don’t stop.”
For information on how to directly donate to Kaden’s TAP registration, visit www.campwoodward.com.

Image courtesy of Jaclyn Anthony / Lincoln Times-News

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