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Joplin camp aims to get girls involved in skateboarding

JOPLIN, Mo. —Skateboarder Tom Walters always wanted to encourage his daughters to grow into the sport he loved.

His oldest daughter grew up skateboarding with him, but when it came to heading to the skate part, she was outnumbered by all of the boys. 

“You know there maybe two or three people the whole time she skated that were the same age or gender as her to be able to skate with, to have any type of sense of community there,” Walters said. 

Now, with his younger daughter’s, he’s seeing more girls at the park, but that they seem hesitant to practice in public.

“And I’ve seen a lot of girls that might just come up here and sit for hours and be too afraid to jump in and start learning,” said Walters.

So, he started the shred sisters skate camp at Ewert Park, where he hosts all girls skate sessions and lessons to encourage young girls to give the activity a try.

“Hopefully the skate sessions and the camp will just provide that like growth of community out here too when the girls don’t feel scared to come off the bench and come out here onto the skate park”, said Walters.

Jarah Davis said she loves skateboarding, and that practicing in a space of mostly girls helped her feel less judged when it comes to learning new skills.

  “Because I think that sometimes other people would judge and make you feel bad like you’ll lose your confidence to skate. so I think by having more girls around you and not judging is helpful…I think it helped me a lot today,” Davis said.

For newcomer Anna Corcoran, coming out to these camps has helped her feel more sure of herself.

“I would definitely recommend it to a lot of other girls since I’m very  anxious about a lot of things, this has boosted my confidence  a little more,” said Corcoran.

The next skate camp will be Monday, June 14th, and will run for the next six weeks.

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