Rolling fun: Bella Martino and Daisy Kennington practicing roller skating at Victoria Park. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Empowering others to get their skates on

September 10, 2020 BY

NOTICING the influx of people taking up roller skating throughout lockdown, a group of young Ballarat skaters decided to create an online space dedicated to the hobby.

To show off progress and new skills and to encourage others to get involved, Bella Martino and Daisy Kennington began the Instagram page, Sisters Sk8.

Ms Martino said after seeing other roller skating accounts pop up, she wanted to make her own for herself and her friends.

“We had been skating for quite a while but I had was still intimidated by the skate park,” she said.

“I wondered what would make me feel more comfortable?

“I realised if we do it together and share our progress through the page we will be more confident.”

As a way of creating an online space that was open and safe for roller skaters of all skill levels, the page aims to empower everyone to learn above all.

Ms Martino said when she began roller skating two years ago, she struggled with confidence and didn’t quite feel like she belonged within the community.

“The page is all about empowering women to skate and feel comfortable,” she said.

“I thought this could be a great way to connect with other skates online and now we’re all dreaming of the day we can skate together.

“I’ve found it’s empowering to take more of an ownership of what a skater has to look like or what skate has to be.”

Not only has the page boosted some local roller skater’s confidence, Sisters Sk8 has also become a great way for a community of young people to share their experiences with the sport.

Ms Kennington said she found that it becomes easier over time, especially when you find people with the same interest and at a similar level skill-wise.

“The page has been a good way to share our tips and tricks and to connect with other skaters not just in Ballarat but from everywhere,” she said.

“It’s been really supportive and great to be able to share my progress with people who understand and are in a similar learning area to me.

“We created this page because it’s daunting to post progression by yourself and as a reminder that it’s okay to start at the bottom and fall over and be uncoordinated, you don’t always have perfect, that’s not important.”

Since creating the page, Ms Kennington said they have received a multitude of messages from people who are just starting out asking for advice.

“There’s been a huge influx in people skating because people are thinking what can I do that will make me happy during this time,” she said.

“It’s a really nice community to enter into, I didn’t expect to make such strong connections that I have with other skaters not just in within the page but beyond.

“Skating makes me feel really, really good so to be able to share that with people is really nice.”

To follow the Sisters Sk8 community and their progress, visit @sisterssk8_ on Instagram