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Calgary youth skaters fundraise towards more inclusive skate culture

A local skate initiative is casting aside skater stereotypes, breaking down barriers, and creating a diverse skate community.

Droppin’ In was conceived to provide a safe and inclusive place for skaters, especially those from BIPOC, queer, migrant, and disabled communities.

“We’re all about addressing barriers to joy and leisure,” said Ava Ginger, Droppin’ In founder.

To Ginger, the factors of systemic oppression, deter time that could’ve been spent toward joy.

“It’s really about finding and creating a space where we can come together and be in joy, celebrate each other, learn and create.”

The Droppin’ In crew together at their fundraiser at The Compound in Calgary on July 28, 2022. INGRID CANUEL / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Fundraising event held to support group

A fundraising event was held at by Droppin’ In on July 28, 2022 at The Compound to support their initiative.

They raised $540, which will go toward skate essentials: decks, bindings, and wheels—as well as snacks and beverages for the meet-ups. They also had 50 complete skateboard setups donated.

Vans Canada, via Rude Girls in Banff, has supported Droppin’ In by securing the group several days a month at The Compound. 

“We want Droppin’ In to grow so that people know that there’s a place for them—that they’re allowed to learn and not have to be so gnarly, fall so much and hurt yourself in order to gain respect,” said Ace Rodriguez, fundraising coordinator for Droppin’ In.

“We’re here to support, hold hands and wear safety equipment,” he said.

The Droppin’ In meet-up begins with everyone introducing themselves by name, pronouns and favourite colour. INGRID CANUEL / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Monthly Skate Meet-ups

Since May 2021, the group has hosted meet ups which have featured what the group calls skate support and free skates.

Skate support offers hands-on mentorship and support from the Droppin’ In crew and volunteers, while free skate gathers neophytes and seasoned skaters alike to practise. 

The crew provides snacks and drinks for all attendees. 

During the summer the group has focused on meet-ups. In the fall and winter, they will be transitioning to themed workshops like consent and accountability, as well as self-defence.

Lo, Droppin’ In regular, on the vert ramp in Calgary on July 28, 2022. INGRID CANUEL / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Droppin’ In Philosophy

The group aims to provide a space for a diverse skate community, and Droppin’ In said they welcome and uplift everyone who comes through their door.  

The community goes against the male dominated groups which “purposefully leaves out” people of different orientations and ability, said Malia Wylie, Droppin’ In social media manager.

“There isn’t that male-dominated toxic masculinity ickiness. It’s much more inclusive and open which makes it more fun and equitable for everyone,” said Wylie.

More information about Droppin’ In is available on their Instagram.