2 December 2013

Skateboarders enjoy ollie good year!

A group of young female skateboarders will soon celebrate the first anniversary of their successful weekly sessions. She Shredders was set up in January 2013 by Brighton Youth Centre with support from Brighton & Hove City Council’s sports development team.

The group was established to encourage teenage girls and young women in Brighton & Hove to gain confidence and develop skills in skateboarding. The aim is to maintain skateboarding enthusiasm during the teenage and young adult years, a time when many young women stop taking part in sporting activities.

The She Shredders meet weekly and are trained by UK Skateboarding Champion Lucy Adams. The members of the group are mainly aged between 18 to 30 years old. By meeting collectively and sharing experiences, the She Shredders have gained a strong bond of friendship as well as sporting achievements.

Louise Ting, aged 22, joined the She Shredders in the summer after seeing an advert for the weekly sessions. Louise said: “I tried skateboarding when I was 12. I didn’t have anyone to practice with so I didn’t get anywhere then. When I found out about the She Shredders I realised it was a way to learn with other likeminded beginners.

"It can be intimidating to go out to the public skateparks by yourself, not because the other skaters are unpleasant but because they are all so good! It’s like being a new swimmer and trying to compete in the fast lane of the pool. I have found that I’ve improved much faster being in a friendly group who are also new to skateboarding. I hope to improve soon and have all the confidence I need to try any of the skateparks we have in the city, even the busier ones!”

About a dozen skateboarders formed the She Shredders at the start of the year. The number has risen throughout the year. More than 30 skateboarders now part of the Thursday evening sessions held at Brighton Youth Centre Skatepark. The group also goes out to practice at skateboarding facilities around the city, including on the seafront and at the recently opened Level skatepark. A new She Shredders group started this month running on Saturday mornings and is already at full capacity with a dozen participants.

The council’s sports development team helped set up the She Shredders and organises “Sportivate” courses providing skateboarding training to new recruits in a female only environment. The training helps the participants build skills and experience in a sport which is traditionally dominated by male skateboarders.

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the economic development and culture committee, said: “The She Shredders are a fine example of what can be achieved when young people work together. They are passionate about their sport and their enthusiasm encourages others to join in. There was much talk of an Olympic legacy at the start of the year and the She Shredders are following on in style from the 2012 sporting successes. They embody the can do and will do attitude to sport.”

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