The Skatemore Girls skateboard club led by Becca McDonald will be heading into its third year in 2023 and McDonald is excited to bring in more collaborators and grow the group even more.
As for 2022, McDonald was thrilled to see as much growth as they did, "There was still the OG crew out they were like real holding down the events, then we saw a lot more teenagers getting involved, setting up events and showing interest in taking care of our local skate park."
McDonald said there was great support from the skateboarding community outside of Strathmore with donations coming in from Skateboard Canada and support from Cousin Skateboarding as well they saw fellow skateboarders make the trip to Strathmore, "There are some really talented like 8-9-year-olds skateboard girls who came out from Calgary and Chestermere to Strathmore for the first time to skate the park with us and that was really cool to get to connect with them. I feel the community is just really expanding."
Locally the group had support from Hunger Paynes, and McDonald said that Astokomii Smith (Indigenous Liaison with the Town of Strathmore) and the Wheatland Youth Network all been extremely supportive of what they are building. There have also been different artists from the Skateboard Community who have come out to support the group one being Calgary artist Matias Martinez who came out to do a spray paint workshop with the skaters.
The group had a skate event earlier this year where they networked with 100% Skate Club in Calgary which are all girls and nonbinary skaters McDonald was excited to see the connections the skaters were able to make, "We're really getting involved with not even just the Strathmore community now it's beyond that which is really cool to see and the kids in Strathmore get to meet all these really cool people."
Over the past 2 years, it has mainly been Thursday meet-ups that McDonald has been doing but for 2023 she wants to get everyone involved in growing the club, "I would like to do more organized events, kind of like a camp, like maybe a week-long camp or something so that we can all learn together. It would be cool to see the club become more youth-led, the youth in Strathmore have a passion for it. Also, I would like to see the park get kind of jazzed up a bit like some of the concrete is wearing down, so it'd be cool to kind of put some energy into fixing up the skate park."
The basic program that McDonald has been offering has been free for those who come out, she did say that with camps as a possibility for 2023 there may be fees associated with that, but she would work to make them as affordable as possible for the skaters.
To help offset some of the costs for the group they will be holding a bottle drive on January 14th. McDonald said for anyone who has bottles that can be picked up they can reach out to her directly at 250-921-5366 and she will arrange for pick up.
Coming up in the winter the club is getting ready to host an indoor event on February 18th, "Rural Mental Health and the Town of Strathmore are supporting us to be able to host an indoor skate session at the Remuda building at the Strathmore Ag grounds."
McDonald explained during the day they will be watching skate movies and there will be a quarter pipe indoors for practice, she is working on possibly having more pieces brought in for the skaters. They will have live music and a photographer on hand, in addition, McDonald noted they will be unveiling the piece that was created earlier in the year with artist Matias Martinez, along with other activities throughout the day.
With her sights set on big goals for 2023 McDonald is ready to put in the hard work it will take to make the club grow bigger, include more events, and see the kids in Strathmore have more opportunities to connect with the Skate community around them.
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