In 2019, Skateistan teamed up with Women Win to create the ROLL Models programme. Providing seed grants and engaging women and non-binary people across Europe in leadership workshops, this initiative aimed to strengthen their agency and autonomy, improve gender equity within skateboarding and get more girls and gender-diverse youth on boards!
For over three years now, the ROLL Models programme has been promoting the visibility of diverse leaders within skateboarding and funding the projects they design, so that the next generation can build confidence, community and life skills on and off their skateboards.
As part of the ROLL Models programme, Women Win have created a Mental Health and Wellbeing Toolkit: designed for sports coaches looking to inspire youth from marginalized genders to be physically and mentally active and healthy. With the ROLL Models programme taking place over the course of the global pandemic, mental health and wellbeing became an unexpected focus of the leadership workshops, with many ROLL Models sharing how skateboarding (and the community around it) plays a crucial role in supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
As Women Win began to search for resources on this topic specifically designed for girls and gender-diverse people, they found a gap in the availability of coach and organization-oriented tools which cover the intersections of mental health and wellbeing, sport and gender. Furthermore, people from marginalized genders are at higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and other common mental disorders due to factors such as gender-based violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income/income inequality, and caretaking responsibilities. Crucially, many of these factors work to dissuade marginalized communities from participating in sports which can significantly help to soothe the detrimental effects of stress, depression and anxiety.
With this in mind, the toolkit provides practical resources, case studies and activities to support mental health and wellbeing in sports programming. It includes coaching strategies and a variety of wellbeing activities that can be adapted to suit different contexts, featuring a step-by-step breakdown of how to run the activity, the goals and materials you need, as well as discussion points to wrap up.