Women’s Skate Club Pushes for Inclusion in Male-Dominated Scene

ByMiriam Brown ’21

Jane Hatfield ’22 taught herself how to skateboard at age 10. Though she has been passionate about it ever since, she has never had very many female role models to look up to in the male-dominated sport.

When she came to Colorado College, she started a girls’ skateboarding club to give female students a pressure-free space to learn and connect. The club already has around 50 members, and most are just now learning how to skate.

“Skateboarding is a sport and culture dominated by males,” Hatfield says, “but we hope to make it accessible to girls as a form of expression, exercise, and a life-long hobby.”

Hatfield noticed a similar need in the greater Colorado Springs community. After receiving a mini-grant from the Collaborative for Community Engagement and William P. Dean Memorial Fund, the club formed a relationship with the YMCA’s after-school program for middle school students.

Together, the students had discussions about what it means to be a role model, citing examples of female leaders in the skating world and writing thank you letters to each of their role models. They held a class to introduce the kids to skating and used grant money to purchase skateboards and helmets for them to spray paint, decorate, and design.

In the future, Hatfield wants to expand the club’s reach even further around Colorado Springs. She hopes for the skate club to host an “All Girls’ Skate” at Monument Skatepark, to give lessons at other schools throughout District 11, and to increase their presence on CC’s campus through film showings and guest speakers.

“I think the [most rewarding] thing has just been getting to see and experience joy and a love of skateboarding with a group of rad, artistic, and motivated middle schoolers,” Hatfield says. “It’s been amazing for us all to develop close friendships grounded on the foundations of skateboarding and art, across differences in age, ability, and other identities.”

Students can join Hatfield and the skateboarding club at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesdays outside of the Tutt Science building for on-campus skate lessons; no experience or gear are necessary.