Free events teach girls to skateboard and help others
March 12 marks the return of Exposure’s youth program, Skate Rising. After pausing in-person programming due to COVID-19, Exposure Skate will resume free Skate Rising events for girls ages 4-18 at the Encinitas Community Park from 9-11a.m. every second Saturday of the month.
Skate Rising teaches compassion through service and empowerment through skateboarding. These free monthly classes consist of a teaching moment where girls learn about a need in the community, a service project designed to alleviate that need and a learn-to-skate clinic taught by professional and Olympic skateboarders. Skaters of all ability levels are welcome.
Offering more than just skateboarding, Skate Rising gives girls the chance to gather together and give back to at-risk and underprivileged populations. “Skate Rising teaches girls to set goals and confront not only personal challenges but those facing their communities,” said Olympic skateboarder and Exposure Skate co-founder Amelia Brodka.
Past Skate Rising events have targeted issues such as bullying, homelessness, and domestic violence. Participants in Skate Rising Service Learning projects have compiled support kits for homeless individuals and international refugees, activity kits to entertain hospitalized children, back-to-school backpacks for lower income communities, and empowerment journals for victims of domestic abuse. Participants are further invited to stand up to bullying by signing a “Commit-to-Kindness” contract.
Following the focus on community, Skate Rising girls are given access to equipment and safety gear rental as they are taught new skills by visiting skateboarding professionals in a fun, community-oriented setting.
Calli Kelsay started the program in 2016 after watching her two oldest daughters learn to skate. “My little six- and eight-year-old girls were learning to overcome fear, think creatively and the benefits of working hard,” said Kelsay. “I saw first-hand skateboarding help my children grow in confidence and resilience which transferred to many aspects of their lives.” Inspired by her girls, Skate Rising was born, as Kelsay began exploring ways to share skateboarding and connection with the broader community.
Sarah Daugirda, parent to two participants, states: “I attended these events monthly for two years. In that time I watched hundreds of girls come in shy, timid and insecure, and leave two hours later all smiles, exuding confidence, proud and eager to be better humans.”
Skate Rising Volunteer and Olympic Skateboarder Bryce Wettstein, shared that “Skate Rising ties a beautiful twine around everyone’s hearts (where) we all learn more about each other… and that dreams are possible!”
Girls who are interested in skateboarding are encouraged to attend these free classes which will begin on March 12 at the Encinitas Community Park. Equipment and skate coaches will be provided. The first community service project will be geared around anti-bullying and kindness.
Exposure Skate is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering women, trans and nonbinary individuals through skateboarding. For adults interested in skateboarding, 18+ clinics will launch on March 26. For more information on Exposure’s youth and adult skateboarding programs visit www.exposureskate.org or @exposureskate on Instagram.
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