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froSkate Creates Sisterhood of Skaters in Chicago

Scarce diversity in the skating world birthed a phenomenal movement just for girls.

froSkate was created when 22-year-old Karlie Thorton realized her interest in the sport. Sharing the same support between friends, Maya Green and Brianna Beckham, pushed them to make a dynamic change in the industry. Karlie told the Chicago Tribune:

“You show up to a skate park to skate and it’s mainly white-dominated. There are some people of color that can be there, but it’s definitely intimidating. Not that skate parks are exclusive, but just the vibe you get when you pull up and you don’t see anybody that looks like you can make you feel excluded.”

One viral tweet of Maya and 13 women being active at Logan Boulevard Skate Park later, Hugh conversation was sparked in their Chicago town. Now, 30-50 women walk around with pride every Tuesday night as part of "that black girl skate crew."

froSkate has become a safe haven for every African-American female or LGBTQ citizen, who felt tense about having questioning eyes on her every time she picked up her board. Iris Simone Haastrup-Sanders, 19, was one of them.

“I thought I was alone, so when I found that there was an actual event to go to, I was so excited. It was so much fun skating with people who are on the same level as you. I thought it was the best thing in the world.”

They've been so successful, programs for the sisterhood have expanded past just the physical sport. The girls have created movie nights, group travel trips, and simple support meetings to share about everyday happenings or struggles in life. No matter the age or how kinky your hair is, froSkate has prided themselves on being all-inclusive for those who've felt excluded. Karlie shared it's all about making a difference.

“We simply want to encourage more women of color to join the sport, to bring better representation to the sport. No one is excluded. FroSkate is for people who have never felt represented in skateboarding.”

Read the full scoop here.

Photo: Camille Fine / Chicago Tribune

froSkate Instagram (@_froskate_)