OAKLAND, Calif. -- In a male-dominated sport, Skate Like A Girl creates an inclusive community for girls, women and transgender people of all ages who want to learn how to skateboard. This group of skaters promotes confidence, empowerment, and self-expression by using skateboarding as a vehicle to meet other like-minded people.
The organization, Skate Like A Girl started in Olympia, Washington twenty years ago and has expanded to three locations in Seattle, Portland, and the Bay Area. The founders chose the name, Skate Like A Girl, to reclaim and empower the phrase "like a girl."
The Bay Area chapter is led by Kim Woozy, Director of Development alongside a team of staff instructors and volunteers. All share the same love and passion for skateboarding.
Woozy started skateboarding at the age of twelve and didn't pursue the sport due to the lack of diversity and a community to participate with. "For a long time, I didn't feel included or invited to skate because it was very intimidating. I knew a lot of people who were really good skateboarders but I never saw adult beginners like myself," said Woozy. "I started skateboarding more as an adult because of Skate Like A Girl."
Today, Skate Like A Girl hosts a number of events from free meetups, summer/winter camps, and lessons.
Skate Like A Girl encourages girls, women, non-binary and transgender people of all ages to express themselves freely at any ability.
"Skate Like A Girl has definitely changed my life. It has become a community and a family," said Jai Ledesma, Staff Instructor at Skate Like A Girl. "Skate Like A Girl is very important for young girls and queer people for so many different reasons. We make it accessible for everybody to have fun. We teach kids, adults and anybody how to skate and be part of the community inside and outside of skateboarding."
Skate Like A Girl has helped thousands of skaters overcome their fears and shred stereotypes.
Mimi Samson has skated for two years and has attended multiple Skate Like A Girl meetups and summer camps.
"I like to skateboard because it feels like a way to express myself. It is a way where I can really be me," said Mimi Samson, Skater at Skate Like A Girl. "Naturally for skateboarding you naturally set goals and Skate Like A Girl helps you meet them."
The organization is dedicated to eliminating gender barriers and creating an inclusive community for the next generation.
"In the future, we hope you can go to the skate park and see all identities skateboarding and it is just not one type," said Woozy. "Working for Skate Like A Girl and volunteering is definitely really gratifying and being able to give back and being able to see someone try something for the first time. I will never get tired of that kind of stoke and excitement."
Thinking about learning how to skateboard? Visit the Skate Like A Girl's website for more information.