Flint, MI—  Girls of all ages gathered at the Flat Lot in downtown Flint to skate together and learn new skills with the help of Jenna Bankston and fellow skater Lina Marco. 

On Sunday, April 11, Bankston co-owner of Brush Alley Skate Shop hosted the first girls-only skate event, of what will be a monthly meetup.

Bankston created this event upon seeing more and more girls come into the skate shop looking to start skateboarding. She thought it was important to create a safe space for girls to learn and practice together, so they can build their confidence and make new friends. 

Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls-only skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Skaters line up for a race accross the parking lot. Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

The idea is that once the girls feel more comfortable on their boards, they’ll be less intimidated by skating in parks with other more experienced skaters. 

The event was casual in structure. Some girls practiced on their own, others gathered around to learn tricks from more experienced skaters, and some participated in races. Bankston moved around helping girls when they needed it, teaching basics and tricks, and comforting the more shy girls in the crowd. 

Lina Marco poses with her skateboard. Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls-only skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Roby Lee mediates a skateboard race. Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Vesper, 9, rolls down the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. on her skateboard during a girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston at Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Girls of all ages and skill levels attended. One mother said she bought herself a skateboard last week so she could learn to skate at the event alongside her daughter who had been skating for two years already. 

Marco, 18, has been skating for a couple years, and said this event was a great idea. 

Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls-only skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls-only skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

“Obviously there are lots of girls that want to learn, and it seems like people are making friends,” she said. 

When the event was over, Bankston said she was pleased to see girls learning new things, and making new friends. She said she even saw two girls meet each other at the event, strike up a friendship, and go out to lunch together afterwards.

Grace Sanchez attends the girls skate event in downtown Flint put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls-only skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Bankston is already planning new ideas for future meet ups. The events will be every second Sunday of the month, as long as it doesn’t fall on a holiday. The next Girl’s Skate and Meet will be on May 16. 

For more information on future events, you can visit the Brush Alley Skate Shop Facebook page

Vesper, 9, gets her helmet tightened during a skate session. She got the skateboard for her 9th birthday. Girls of all ages gathered at the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. for a girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint, Mich. to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Girls of all ages showed up to the flat lot in downtown Flint to skate at the girls skate event put on by Jenna Bankston of Brush Alley Skateshop on April 11, 2021. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Amy Diaz

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...

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