From left, BMX professionals Jake Hinke, Zach Newman, Logan Place and Trevor Meyer pose for a picture at Eastpointe High School Nov. 6. They showed off some  of their best moves during a school assembly and talked to students about bullying and  how to build each other up  rather than tear each other down.

From left, BMX professionals Jake Hinke, Zach Newman, Logan Place and Trevor Meyer pose for a picture at Eastpointe High School Nov. 6. They showed off some of their best moves during a school assembly and talked to students about bullying and how to build each other up rather than tear each other down.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Action sports stars give anti-bullying message to Eastpointe High students

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 12, 2019

 BMX expert and X Games bronze medalist Zach Newman does a backflip over Eastpointe High School Assistant Principal Rona Head.

BMX expert and X Games bronze medalist Zach Newman does a backflip over Eastpointe High School Assistant Principal Rona Head.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

 Trevor Meyer and his fellow BMX experts sign  autographs and talk with Eastpointe High School  students following an anti-bullying presentation Nov. 6.

Trevor Meyer and his fellow BMX experts sign autographs and talk with Eastpointe High School students following an anti-bullying presentation Nov. 6.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

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EASTPOINTE — The students at Eastpointe High School got an extreme lesson in bullying prevention thanks to a presentation performed by Action Sports Alliance Entertainment Nov. 6.

The presentation featured BMX and stunt riding experts performing on bicycles in the school’s gym to educate students on how they can respond to bullying.

“We’re able to create awareness and entertain them at the same time, so they are engaged with it and pay attention, so they take it home with them,” said Dan Sieg, tour  manager for ASA Entertainment. “If we can help just a couple of kids feel a little bit better, that’s what we’re here for.”

For more than 20 years, ASA Entertainment has coordinated with the United States Marine Corps on such shows, and together, they try to pass along positive messages to students around the country.

“I think this presentation connects with students very well, because they see the entire school has united in one place at one time, and all of their teachers and administrators have united at one place at one time, and they see professional athletes have taken time out of their day to talk about this,” added Assistant Principal Rona Head. “It shows this topic is important and serious and real. Seeing the Marines sponsoring this event says the same thing too.”

The presentation featured stunts by four BMX experts: Jake Hinke, Zach Newman, Logan Place and Trevor Meyer. Newman had just won a bronze medal at last year’s X Games, while Meyer is a three-time X Games gold medalist. All four are vying to compete in the 2020 Olympics. 

Between their performances, Sieg spoke to the students about bullying, why it was a problem and what people could do about it.

“Bullying is, unfortunately, a very relevant topic, because it happens very frequently in our schools, in our workplaces and among both adolescents and adults,” Head explained. “What I am finding out is a lot of our students don’t really know what bullying is or what it can be, and they don’t understand the lasting effects it can have on a person. We want to teach the behavior we want to see and make students aware of the repercussions of their actions.”

Sieg said he thinks the BMX show is a good way to connect with students, and it provides them with an engaging way to get their message across.

“All of us started riding bikes when we were middle school and high school age,” he said. “A lot of kids at this level are into this sort of thing. They are the target demographic for the X Games or action sports. We do things they can relate to and get into. If they don’t do it themselves, they might hang out at the skate park or know someone who does this. I also think seeing people out here making a living at this shows them they can succeed at whatever they want to do.”

He said bullying has taken on a whole new relevance with cyberbullying becoming more common.

“I’ve been doing this since before there really was the internet, and we focused more on positive lifestyle and living a healthy lifestyle,” Sieg said. “Now, cyberbullying is such an issue. Kids get on the computer and they talk trash, and it’s a faceless crime; there are faceless victims. They don’t realize that the other person on the other side of that screen can be quite affected by that.”

Head said she believes that the presentation made an impact on the students.

“I believe the presentation was definitely successful,” she said. “When Dan asked questions about the statistics and facts he told them, they were able to answer and were excited to answer. They were enthusiastic and clapping, and I think the message was received. We also will be giving students a follow-up assessment about bullying, and will be giving them more information.”

The presentation came to a close with one of the riders doing a backflip on his bike over Head. The assistant principal said the experience was terrifying but well worth the fear.

“I know that these guys are professionals, and I trust them, but I have not been that afraid in a long, long time,” she laughed. “I did it for my students. When they called me up there, I didn’t know what it was going to be about or what I would have to do. I said (to myself) that if this was something that would let my students know this was important, I was willing to take a stand and do whatever I could for them. I hope they can tie my bravery today with the bravery they have in the future when it comes time to stand up for someone or report bullying.”

The ASA performs shows with a variety of messages ranging from anti-drug messages to self-esteem to cooperation and teamwork.

“The message I want people to walk away from this with is you can do whatever you want to do,” Sieg said. “If you do anything and work hard enough at it, you can do it for a living. You can be the best yo-yo person in the world; you can make it a career. I think kids engage with that.”

He said he has seen through his years of work the difference such lessons can make in the life of a teen.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and people ask me if I ever get burnt out or if I ever get tired of traveling all the time and doing the same thing again and again, and I don’t, because every now and then, you get that one kid it really resonates with,” Sieg said. “It inspires me to keep doing it.”

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