Women-only skateboarding group rolls out opportunity for northeast Calgary girls to shred

·2 min read
Peggy Seto joined the 100% Skate Club five years ago. She’s also a teacher at the nearby Nelson Mandela High School and spotted a gap in representation when it comes to skateboarding in northeast Calgary. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)
Peggy Seto joined the 100% Skate Club five years ago. She’s also a teacher at the nearby Nelson Mandela High School and spotted a gap in representation when it comes to skateboarding in northeast Calgary. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)

A women-only skateboarding group is giving girls in northeast Calgary a place to try the popular sport.

Many girls from immigrant families don't have parents or relatives who skateboarded in the past and it's usually low down the list of sports and hobbies that are prevalent in South Asian communities, which make up a large part of the population.

The 100% Skate Club is looking to change that by giving the chance for girls and non-binary skaters to get an introduction to the pastime. They can even provide a board for girls to get started on.

"I noticed there was an under-representation of the northeast girls in our club," said Peggy Seto, who is a skater and high school teacher.

Dan McGarvey/CBC
Dan McGarvey/CBC

"I found this community of women who are at the same level and it's super supportive and super diverse. It's just an awesome community," Seto said. "I thought, wouldn't it be great to create a safe space and community with these girls."

Seto says most girls that come out to skate have a mom or dad who skated when they were younger, but in the northeast, it's not something most parents would think to offer their kids.

Seto says it comes with a long list of positives.

"There are the physical benefits and benefits like increasing confidence, taking risks, learning to overcome challenges, dealing with failure and being able to see progress and the successes," said Seto.

The girls learn how to stand on a board and push themselves on flat ground before trying to roll down slopes and learning more advanced tricks like ollies and kick-flips.

"I just started and I can push myself on a skateboard now and I'm learning new tricks without breaking anything," said teen Tia Puri.

"I just love being with people and learning new things. It's a learning community," she said. "My parents just like me to get out and get fresh air."

Dan McGarvey/CBC
Dan McGarvey/CBC

"I didn't know how to ride a board until a week ago," said Liv Audrey, who lives close by in Martindale.

"There's adrenaline, and I feel cool when I skateboard. My teacher and the people in the group, it feels very supportive. I don't get made fun of," she said.

Audrey says as long as the club is there, she plans to keep on skating and learning.

The group's website, Facebook and Instagram pages have information about how to get involved.

The northeast sessions take place at the Genesis Centre Skatepark and will run over the summer months.

Participants can fill out a waiver and can usually access skateboards that have been donated to the club.

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