Girls Skate Week: Skate and Art Session in Germany

“I wanted to give young girls the opportunity to learn to skate in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe; where they can go beyond their limits and enjoy the sport without thinking about what others may think of them”

Germany | girls skate | GOODPUSH ALLIANCE

The female skate scene is growing and girls are marking their territory in the world of skateboarding. But there are still barriers for girls starting to skate and feeling comfortable in the skatepark. The founder of the Girls Skate Week, Lina Czerny, knows by her own experience that it can be challenging to start skateboarding as a girl. “There are still many prejudices that girls only start skating to impress boys or to look cool. Why can’t we just skate because we do it for ourselves and have fun doing it? Since skateboarding is still a male-dominated sport, some girls feel intimidated and simply don’t have the courage to go to the skate park and jump on their board when there are loads of boys around.”

Girls Skate Week is a skate project for girls from the age of 13 years and took place from October 12th – 18th in four cities of the Ruhr region, the largest urban area in Germany. Girls were welcome to join different activities: Girls Skate Sessions, a Graffiti Workshop, Screen Printing Workshop, Jewelry and Linocut Workshop, and a Movie Night. The skate initiative was started by Lina Czerny and quickly found enough volunteers to help her out with the project. Johanna and Cathrin, who helped organizing the Girls Skate Week, enjoyed seeing the girls’ progress and their mutual support: “The girls gave each other tips and cheered one another on.”

The Ruhr area already has a female skateboarding scene, but it can be challenging to bring the the girls together. Lena, one of the girls the skate session in Dortmund, said she was happy to get to know other girls in that area who share her passion for skateboarding. Two male skaters were part of the project too, but they made sure that the girls felt comfortable and were supportive towards them. “I wanted to give young girls the opportunity to learn to skate in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe; where they can go beyond their limits and enjoy the sport without thinking about what others may think of them”, said Lina. As the Girls Skate Week combined skate with art workshops, the girls could attend the project even if they did not want to skate in the first place and could inspire each other creatively and take their artwork home at the end of the workshops.

Lina believes that Skateboarding has the potential to empower girls and strengthen their self-confidence to see what they are actually capable of: “Even if you just learn small steps on the skateboard it already feels powerful and I really want to pass that feeling on. If you understand that everyone needs to put the same effort into skateboarding to accomplish things everybody is equal – it does not matter if you are a boy or a girl.” The intention of the project is to create a space for womxn to feel safe and comfortable to skate and to connect the female skate community. The girls should be encouraged and support and inspire each other to create something that has the potential to grow in the future. The project received support from the local skate community, The Goodpush Alliance by Skateistan, and Titus. Check out the Girls Skate Instagram for the next skate session and upcoming events.

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