ROLL Models: How to inspire the next generation of female leaders

If we had to sum up the aim of the Goodpush project in three words, they would be ‘spread the shred.’ Over the past 11 years at Skateistan, we have seen the power of skateboarding as a positive influence in young people’s lives and we have seen how empowering taking part in skateboarding can be, especially for young girls. Goodpush aims to take that knowledge, share it with others and enable them to contribute to the social skate sector in order to reach more and more children and young people. 

 

So we’re beyond excited to announce the launch of a new project called ROLL Models, in conjunction with the incredible folk at Women Win – a global leader in women’s empowerment through sport. ROLL Models aims to empower the next generation of female leaders and we’ll do that through the power of skateboarding. Over the next three years, we’ll help 72 amazing young women to develop leadership skills and build up their own social skate initiatives so that they, in turn, can inspire almost 1000 girls to take part in skateboarding. Not only will ROLL Models spread the shred, it will do this by empowering young women and encouraging them to shape their own futures. 

The project will consist of leadership camps bringing young women together each year, where they’ll learn from inspirational women from within Skateistan and Women Win about how to run a social project, how sport can empower young people and how to encourage girls and young women to take part in sports. With support from both organizations, these young women will become ROLL Models and in turn, run programs/events, or even set up new initiatives to inspire the next generation of girls. Women Win will also be providing over 100,000 euros as seed funding to help these new initiatives to grow. We estimate that around 1000 girls will benefit from this project over the next three years. Pretty awesome, eh? 

 

We’re launching ROLL Models on World Mental Health Day, and that’s no coincidence. Sport and physical activity can have a hugely positive impact on mental health, but the reality is that many girls and young women in Europe – and around the world – are missing out on these benefits. Today’s generation of young women is the most inactive ever, with only 10-20% getting the recommended amount of exercise. This has really serious consequences, both physically and mentally, and is an issue that ROLL Models seeks to address. One of the ways we will combat this is by producing a free, online toolkit to promote girls’ mental wellbeing through sport. 

 

The project will specifically target groups which are often excluded from opportunities in sports and leadership. We’ll reach out to women of colour, those living with disabilities, as well as women who identify as queer, trans or non-binary. Working in Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, ROLL Models also aims to respond to the recent refugee crisis, offering support and opportunities to women within the refugee and migrant population. Inclusion, empowerment and celebrating diversity are at the very heart of this project and we can’t wait to get started. Watch this space for more updates!