Vans Launches Girls’ Skate Clinics and Events for International Women’s Day
Remember the rush of independence that came from getting your driver’s license? Cruising to your friend’s house after school or hitting the drive-through on your lunch break was game-changing. Wheels can be liberating. So can wheelies.
California sneaker company Vans is highlighting the power of skateboarding to change girls’ lives. This March, as part of “This Is Off the Wall,” the company’s campaign featuring international creative communities, Vans is featuring Girls Skate India. The foundation enlists international female skateboarders to teach aspiring boarders how to ollie and flip. Vans partnered to produce a video of skating students in Bangalore meeting with pros Lizzie Armanto and Atita Verghese. On March 8, for International Women’s Day, Vans will also begin hosting more than 100 skateboarding clinics in major cities such as Brooklyn, Chicago, London, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Bangalore, São Paulo and Mexico City.
Girls attending the skate clinic in Bangalore, India
“When you see another girl skate, you know it’s possible,” says Lizzie Armanto. “You learn self-confidence from skating. The more girls get into that, the more the world will change.” In many countries around the globe, skateboarding is still seen as transgressive, especially for women. Atita Verghese emphasizes how this simple act of play really challenges gender stereotypes in traditional societies. “When you see a girl skating, it changes your perception of what a girl can do,” Verghese says. “Skateboarding, in general, allows you that freedom to just choose whatever, be whatever, do whatever.” And in places like Bangalore, skating can also be a very effective means of transportation.
“Vans is skateboarding, and we are committed to ensuring that anyone, anywhere has the opportunity to discover this unique form of creative expression,” says April Vitkus, Senior Director of Vans Global Brand Marketing. “We are hopeful that shining a light on skateboarding to girls and women will showcase how empowering it can be.” The clinics invite women of any age to learn something new, something radical from their female peers. Beginning skaters up to pros are welcome at these events, which also celebrate community and creativity. If the adorable video is any indication, attendees will be all smiles as they learn to navigate ramps and pipes.
Atita Verghese and Lizzie Armanto
“We wanted to tell stories about the communities that grow around creative endeavors. Whether it’s skateboarding, art or music, these activities connect people with one another,” says Jamie Reilly, Vans Vice President of Global Creative.