Skateboarding in America — Catherine Penman

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This summer I headed for the United States of America in order to become the first ever female skateboard coach for the renowned camp Hilltop.

Skateboarding is an intense passion of mine but more than the sport itself I am was determined to work in this position in order to to prove to young women and girls that women have the right to participate in any felid they chose. Even if that interest is perceived to be ‘males only’, or ‘male dominated.’

My main concerns about leaving  for America were about my ability to cope on such an extensive and demanding trip without my twin sister. Up until this trip I had never spent more than a few days without my sister, who provides constant support in any of my day to day endeavours. I believed greatly in the work I wanted to achieve over seas and thus thought this was the perfect opportunity to test myself in her absence for the first time.

Overall my experience at camp was incredible. By the end of the summer skateboarding lessons were not only attended by more females but  girls made up the majority of participants. It was clearly a domino effect, as more girls joined in others were inspired to give the sport a try also.

Without a doubt participating in this extreme sport gave the girls more confidence in themselves even out with the skatepark. In addition the girls were happy and comfortable to skate alongside the boys as equals, offering tips and help to their peers and the boys vice versus. I was proud to have helped create such a positive environment in which gender barriers were removed and the sport was used as an outlet to help progress both children’s  physical and social skill sets.

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