UTEP’s ‘Dr. Skateboard’ Earns Ambassador Award
Last Updated on September 17, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published September 17, 2020
By Daniel Perez
The World Round-Up for Freestyle Skateboarding recently announced that The University of Texas at El Paso’s Bill Robertson, Ph.D., was its Ambassadors of Freestyle Skateboarding Award recipient for 2020.
The honor recognizes individuals for their efforts to nurture the sport of skateboarding.
Robertson, professor of teacher education, has been an award-winning skateboard enthusiast for 44 years. He has used his passion for the sport to create his alter ego, “Dr. Skateboard,” who has used skateboards and BMX (bicycle motocross) to teach principles of physics and other sciences to generations of students as part of his “Action Science” program.
The international skateboarding group made its presentation during the World Freestyle Round-Up 2020 Online Showdown conducted in July.
In his introduction, Monty Little, senior contest producer, lauded Robertson, who has demonstrated his prowess with a skateboard before tens of thousands of students, educators and members of the public across the world. Little mentioned how Robertson’s love to teach and to ride have inspired new generations of skateboarders.
“There are many exceptionally talented skaters out there who inspire us to be better skaters, but then there’s a group of skaters who devote their lives to mentor others, helping to promote skateboarding,” Little said. “Thus, they become ambassadors of our sport.”
Robertson said this recognition was an unexpected honor. He likened it to a lifetime achievement award.
“To receive the Ambassadors of Freestyle Award for 2020 is one of the highest honors of my career, and I am humbled by my selection, as it comes from my peers in the world freestyle community,” Robertson said. “It is also important to me as a professor, as it helps build on my work in Action Science, in terms of personal relevance and professional status, and keeps the message of pursuing your passions while keeping the importance of education at the front.”
Robertson, who continues to compete in his sport, also earned a fifth-place finish in the Masters division of the Online Showdown for his roughly two-minute routine. He was the highest finisher among U.S. contestants.
The UTEP professor likened his participation to “sharpening the saw” because the competition helped him to enhance his skateboard skills, and that experience eventually will wind up in a classroom.