Q & A with Australia Day Ambassador Amar Hadid

International skating sensation and rapper, Amar Hadid, has been announced as the 2019 Hills Shire Council Australia Day Ambassador.

The 20-year-old athlete, who is aiming to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will head to Bella Vista Farm on January 26 to speak to attendees about what she loves most about being Australian and representing Australia on the world stage in skateboarding events.

FOCUS sat down with Amar ahead of her Australia Day appearance to discuss her impressive list of achievements.

You boast an impressive list of accomplishments for someone so young. What do you credit your success to?

Thank you, I appreciate that you think that. I believe the world offers so many opportunities and we have to decide which one to reach for, so for me I feel there is much more to do. I hope to do this by focusing on my goals and learning to better balance my time – it is quite difficult juggling time between my studies and various activities.

I am blessed by the incredible amount of support I receive from everyone. In skateboarding, the management at Monster Skatepark, the University of Sydney Elite Athlete Program and my family – my father is my guru and my mother is my guardian angel. Most importantly, I keep my prayers regular and look to God for his blessings.

You’re aiming to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with your skateboarding. How did you first get into skateboarding?

It started off with my cousin and I taking it up casually whilst he was here visiting from overseas. I said to myself, I’m going to beat my cousin and anyone else who challenges me in skateboarding. It was a strange feeling for a beginner. Then I realised how much I enjoyed the challenge that skateboarding presented me – a way in which I had never been challenged before.

I recall one time when I was about 10 years old we were in Kiama, 3 surfers came up to me while I was on my brother’s ripstick board, and one asked how long I had been skating on that board, I replied that it was my first time using it, my dad just bought it for my brother. He said “you would make an excellent surfer, you have great balance”.  I didn’t think about it again until I started skateboarding.

I seem to have natural sporting ability and excelled in numerous sports such as soccer and touch football.  However, I decided to focus on this new individual sport, which gives me pleasure, persistent challenges and something to look forward to and work towards. It would be a dream and honour for any girl to represent her country at the Olympics, especially in a sport that is making its debut in Tokyo 2020.

Skateboarding is a heavily male dominated sport. Have you faced any challenges in regards to this?

Although it is male dominated, thousands of girls are taking it up all the time. The males, despite the stereotyping, are generally supportive and helpful. The skateboarding community is quite resilient in the sense that we can put pressure on each other, but it doesn’t dent our respect for each other.

There is an unwritten mandate which we are all working towards and that is to bring the sport into the main stream for both males and females.  At competitions, only for the 45 seconds you are on your board doing your run are you single minded, the balance of the time you cheer and constructively support each other.

You’ve released one rap song and have another scheduled for released this year. How did you get into music?

Music I did a lot of at school like most young girls. When I discovered rapping from YouTube I was quite taken by it. For me, I found it to be an effective medium to communicate the general issues on my mind to my peers and the world. I like to use rapping as a means to help create understanding and respect between Australians and humanity at large. That’s where rapping will play a role in my life, in helping me express myself, prompt others to express themselves and inspire feedback.

You’re currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Science and Arabic with plans to study medicine in the future. What makes you want to study medicine?

As I got older I realised children take well to me and I, to them. Children have reminded me of the beauty, innocence and potential of young souls. Whatever we do, no matter how small, can make a difference to their life. Whether that be in health, wellbeing, sport, education, and beyond. For those reasons, I decided I would like to study medicine, specialising in children’s health. I have had doctors who have invested time and care into me to ensure I had the best health outcomes in my life. Australian’s are the best at many things and especially in medicine. When you stand back and think about it we are very fortunate.

Skateboarding, hip hop, uni – how do you juggle your many commitments?

It is difficult juggling time because a lot of things are demanded from you; sometimes simultaneously. It requires you to keep your cool, calling on extra personal resources and better time management. It is hard but it gets better with time and experience, and it is rewarding, and you have to enjoy the challenge.

What’s next?

Focusing on representing my country in the Olympics, finishing my current degree and then studying medicine. I will be forever grateful for the gratitude I have for all those that have supported me and support others. It is my plan to give back, whatever and whenever I can to support Australian’s to do their best and reach their goals.

Find out more about Amar and Australia day at The Farm on our website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au.

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