Project leaders demonstrate how to make skateboards and talk about how they got started with Heels on Wheels.
"We applied for the grant for $1000 which we got to speak out about female empowerment through skateboarding. Carly’s spontaneous rhyming schemes found us our name. We wanted to prove the stereotype wrong, that skateboarding like most sports is considered a male activity. We want to show that women are just as good, just as equal as men when it comes to skateboarding.
The project was to take the grant to talk to younger girls about the issues and stereotypes they are experiencing at their age. And how to keep a clear open mind, and think for themselves. What we did was that we went to Cityview Alternative Public School to talk about these issues and work with grade seven and eight girls. We put together a three hour workshop with a power point. We looked at the media around gender and sports and broke down some of the discrimination. Women are always portrayed as struggling and weak and they are always referred to by their first names, which points to them being weaker, whereas men are always talked about using their family names, showing their strength. We also looked at skateboard ads which used naked women to sell the boards. We asked the girls what they thought the ad was for and most had no idea. We also made buttons and stickers with them to show them ways they could promote themselves outside of school. The girls also had to put together a skateboard design proposal so we could choose the three girls who would get a chance to design a skateboard with us.
The second half of our project is to design a longboard each. The grant allowed us to get all the materials we needed for our project and to promote it. We are doing a series of pin-ups with weird animal heads. We are using strong powerful animals to show that women are more than just a pretty face. The finished boards will be displayed in the Oasis Skateboard art show at Harbourfront on February 19th and 20th.
We’d like to continue doing the workshops and seminars in the future. We’ve already been asked to go to another school and do a workshop with them. Another idea for the future might be taking girls skateboarding at some of the skateboard parks."