Girls thrive at girls-only skating workshop

THESE GIRLS CAN: Keen skaters Lily Skelton, 12, Chloe McLeod, 9, Frankie Richard, 7 and Tilly Graham, 9 gearing up for the clinic. Photo: Hayley Elg
THESE GIRLS CAN: Keen skaters Lily Skelton, 12, Chloe McLeod, 9, Frankie Richard, 7 and Tilly Graham, 9 gearing up for the clinic. Photo: Hayley Elg

GIRLS around the shire have taken to Daylesford’s half pipes to learn some exciting new skating tricks. 

The Learn To Skate sessions were organised by the YMCA and run purely for girls between the age of 8 and 14. 

YMCA program leader Saul Spelbrink said the organisation wanted to push the progression of skateboarding across the spectrum. 

“We started the girls skating program at Riverside Skate Park in Melbourne and it was a huge success, so now that it has a bit more momentum, we are bringing it to the regions, like here in Daylesford,” he said. 

“We love skating and we want to get more young girls involved in the sport from a grassroots level.”

He said many girls had skating role models online and the clinics allowed them to meet girls with similar interests. Some clinics are run by female skaters. 

Youth Engagement Officer Jonathon Van Der Ploeg said the girls only skate clinics were part of the council’s Active Women’s and Girls Strategy which aimed to encourage female participation in sport and other active recreational activities.

The strategy was created in partnership with Sport and Recreation Victoria with the intention to create a more widespread understanding of the links between physical activity and overall health. 

Statistics from VicHealth in 2015 indicated that only 32.3 per cent of females in Hepburn Shire met the physical activity guidelines, so it is hoped that by engaging girls from a younger age, they will carry their good habits throughout their lives.

Lily’s mum Nicola said the clinic was a great opportunity for girls to learn how to skate without the pressures a skate park can present.

“It’s a nice opportunity for them to do an activity just with other girls, without feeling intimidated and shy about all the bruiser boys doing flips and tricks that they can’t do yet,” she said. “We live in Creswick where there is a new skate park but we can only go between the hours of 5.30 and 6.15pm when all the boys are having dinner and there are no little kids getting the skate park wet,” she laughed.