Pioneer student-athlete Nastassia Hamor is the founder of S.K.A.T.E. and has helped to organize the Hayward Family Skate Night.
The Cal State East Bay Athletics Department will be participating in Family Skate Night, hosted by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and Cal State East Bay student group Skating for Kids’ Achievement Through Exercise (S.K.A.T.E.). The event will provide local families the opportunity to enjoy music and skating in a fun and safe environment and will be held at Sunset Adult School in Hayward on April 4 from 3-7 p.m.
Family Skate Night will feature music, fun games and door and raffle prizes. The proceeds from raffle tickets will help provide skates for youth in the Hayward community.
Natassia Hamor, a Pioneer cross country and track student-athlete and member of the 2011 US Inline Skating National Team, founded the student group S.K.A.T.E. on the CSU East Bay campus with the goal of getting more youth interested in skating through family friendly fun.
“S.K.A.T.E. is comprised of a handful of students who truly care about the community,” Hamor said. “I originally started this group because I wanted to see more involvement between our campus and the city of Hayward. With the help of my club officers, our mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle on and off campus; getting people involved and introducing more people to skating.”
She looks forward to bringing her love of the sport to the Hayward community and encourages participation in skating as a family affair much like the way she learned to love skating. At just five years old her father introduced her to the sport and, though she did not care for it at first, she began to love it and realized it was becoming a passion.
“One night after my elementary school’s skate party, my parents were a few minutes late picking me up,” Hamor told. “As I waited for them, the Milpitas Speed Skating Team started practice and I saw a very fast girl skating who was only a few years older than me. It was at that moment I knew I had to try speed skating.”
Not only did she give it a try, Hamor has enjoyed the sport for over 15 years and was a member of the 2005 U.S Junior Team, 2009 Senior Team and the 2011 U.S. Inline Skating National Team. She has traveled all over the United States and has competed internationally in Portugal, France, China and Korea.
Hamor has also been a staple on the Pioneer cross country and track teams, helping the team transition to Division II competition and collecting CCAA All-Academic honors at Cal State East Bay. She started running cross country at the age of 12 and has been balancing both sports ever since. She has her sights on setting a new personal best on the track this season and helping the Pioneers capture a conference title and a spot in the national rankings.
Hamor explains that community engagement is at the top of the priority list for the Pioneer cross country and track teams, in addition to succeeding academically and putting in hard work at practice and meets. As a result, Head Cross Country and Track Coach Ralph Jones encouraged the teams to help her by volunteering at the event.
“I am constantly advocating for our athletes to use their platform as a student-athlete to do something bigger than themselves,” Jones said. “Volunteering and community engagement really gives them an appreciation for their opportunities and an understanding about the importance of their role as a student-athlete.
“We are supporting one of our own for a good cause. Anytime any of our Pioneer track family members has an idea or wants to take action in an event where they can give back, I want to send a message that we are all in support of it. Nastassia is doing something remarkable by providing opportunities for families to come together and skate, which has the added benefits of improving health by promoting physical activity. I am hopeful that this takes off and we as a university and particularly an athletic department can continue to provide opportunities like this to our local community.”
Hamor plans to continue to balance her skating career with her role as a student-athlete at Cal State East Bay. She will finish her bachelor’s degree in psychology next spring and plans to continue her education with a master’s in kinesiology at Cal State East Bay or San Jose State and pursue a career in sports psychology.
When asked how she balances both sports, Hamor replied, “Being part of both teams has made me realize that I am capable of reaching way more goals than I ever imagined, that I am competitive, and that I have immense determination. It has made me train harder, race smarter, and has made me much more confident in my abilities, because now I know how far I can push myself.”
At the end of the 2012 track season Hamor will begin training for the U.S. Inline Skating World team tryouts to earn a spot on the team that will race in Italy this fall. It doesn’t look like her participation in either sport will stop there, once Hamor decides to hang up her running shoes and skates, she looks forward to continuing the balancing act and becoming a coach in both of the sports she loves.
Family Skate Night is free and open to the public and CSU East Bay students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend, in addition to local families. For further information on the Family Skate Night, please contact Assistant Athletics Director Dawn Ellerbe at email@example.com