Seeking skateboard success – and bridge-building

She’s currently observing Ramadan and, despite making her training much harder, she’s committed to breaking down the barriers recent extremist attacks have created to a wider acceptance of her religion.

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The 18 year-old is in the first year of her scholarship for skateboarding at Sydney University, the first of its kind in Australia.

She’s only been skateboarding for four years and Hadid says doing something she loves is the key.

“Ever since I started skateboarding I felt a connection with it and I felt that it was something that I really loved and something that I wanted to pursue. And when you do something you love, you do it well.”

Hadid has been observing Ramadan since she was six years old, even though she wasn’t required to do so until puberty.

And she remains committed to doing so, despite it making her training and university studies more difficult.

“I just make sure that I eat and consume the right amount of food, and the right types of food, so that sustains my energy levels longer throughout the day.”

Hadid admits she’s got a long way to go before being a chance of earning selection for the Australia Olympic Skateboard team.

“Women’s skateboarding is progressing every day. The bar is raising every single day. Its going to be a lot of work and that’s no doubt about it just like for any sport. A lot of work, a lot of dedication.”

Recent extremist attacks in Australia and around the world have saddened her that moderate Muslims may be being misrepresented.

She’s hoping that through her music, sport and studies she’ll be able to have a positive impact on the world.

“I skateboard because I love it of course, and I rap because I love it. But I do it for other people as well. I think anything is possible. But for myself, concentrate for the next three years on skateboarding. And competing in the 2020 OIympics. And hopefully after that I want to study medicine.”

Hadid has already competed at international events and scored podium finishes.

Her skateboarding career looks set for success but, if it doesn’t happen in Tokyo, with her dedication towards all aspects of her life, success in some endeavour looks assured.