Queenslander Taniah Meyers has been skating since she was in primary school. Growing up at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast, plenty of weekends and afternoons were spent at her local skatepark.
The now 22-year-old started competing in her late teen years, and has gone on to represent Australia in skateboarding contests all around the world, including the 2018, 2019 and 2022 World Championships.
While skateboarding gave Meyers drive and purpose from a young age, she noticed other young kids weren’t having the same opportunities. That is where her business ‘Fastplant Skateboarding’ started from, created with her partner Mikayla Senior, to inspire and motivate kids to give skateboarding a go.
“Mikayla and I started Fastplant Skateboarding a couple of years ago in 2021. We came up with the idea when visiting her sister inland in the holidays and wondered what the kids do around town,” Meyers said.
“Coming from the Sunshine Coast where we have so many available activities in the holidays, we decided that it would be a good idea to bring some of that to the communities in rural areas.
“So every school holidays, we plan a two week tour hitting all different towns on the way and when we are back on the Sunshine Coast we run daily lessons at various skateparks. We are aiming to be able to bring skateboards to the communities to keep after we run the skateboarding lesson so they can continue to learn.”
Fastplant Skateboarding is about more than just teaching kids to skate. The organisation focuses on helping the next generation progress in all areas of the skating industry and the different pathways available in the sport.
“We love to pass on our experiences and open kids' minds to different pathways they can take within skateboarding, such as being a skate coach, judge, videographer, photographer, event organiser or work in sports management, for example,” Meyers said.
“I love skateboarding and the life it has given me and I only wish for others to find their passions and chase after their goals and dreams.
“There is no better feeling than seeing someone work towards a goal and getting to achieve it.”
Meyers has learnt to juggle the needs of her business with the requirements of her own training - only this week heading to Argentina for the San Juan World Skate Tour event, which is part of the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
She says that staying organised is the key to juggling the dual careers, which both contribute significantly to her purpose and passion.
“I think it is really important for me to have both a career with the business and as an athlete as I love to have balance in my life and I love to be able to give back to the community,” she said.
“I love to be able to put my passion into work and pass on my love of skating to the next generation. I also love being an athlete and seeing how far I can push my body and mind. Also as a business owner, I’m forever learning new things and pushing myself outside my comfort zone.
“To balance the business and my own training I have to make sure that I am organised and that I have rest time. I put all things in my calendar to ensure that I am using my time wisely and making sure that I can be my best in both areas.”
Meyers recognises that excelling as both an athlete and in a corporate career requires discipline and sacrifice, and as we celebrate National Careers Week from 15-21 May 2023, her advice to other athletes thinking about study or work options alongside their sporting careers, is to find something you’re passionate about.
“The advice I would give to up and coming young skaters thinking about studying or working alongside their skating careers is to do something that they enjoy doing and to have a good balance,” she said.
“I would recommend keeping organised and having a schedule as it can get overwhelming and sometimes you can neglect one or the other. I love being able to put my time into being an athlete and owning a business and if that’s something you are interested in, give it a go - you’ll never know what you’ll learn along the way!”
Find out more about Fastplant Skateboarding and how to attend one of skating workshops here.