Supporting the Opportunity for Girls to “Skate” Into their Dreams

There’s something freeing about lacing up a pair of in-line skates, or jumping on a skateboard, and feeling untethered to everything around you. In those instances, it’s also important to feel comfortable doing something you enjoy.

In traditionally male-dominated action sports, such as skateboarding, that may not always be easy. According to a 2021 study from the Tony Hawk Foundation, only about 24% of skateboarders in the United States are women.

Women and girls need spaces where they feel secure. That’s where Green Bay Action Sports Organization, known as GBASO, comes in. The non-profit aims to provide a safe environment for area youth to expand their action sports progression while sponsoring a culture of education and mentorship. The facility, located at 2351 Holmgren Way in Green Bay, includes an indoor action sports complex for skateboarding, scootering, BMX and in-line skating.

Understanding the need to support women and girls, after receiving a $5,000 grant from the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay in the Fall of 2023, GBASO decided to set up a “Ladies Night” program. The 8-week event was held from January 8 to February 26, 2024. The event was completely free for women and girls and included rentals of bikes and boards, plus skatepark access.

According to GBASO managers, they were aiming for 15 girls and women to attend. They surpassed that goal. In fact, one night, they saw up to 60 girls and women. GBASO Executive Director Shane Stout told local news station, WFRV, the park prided itself for its inclusivity.

“This program is pivotal in breaking down barriers and fostering a supportive environment where women of all ages can discover their strengths, build confidence, and connect with like-minded individuals,” he told the outlet in February 2024.

Empowering young women and supporting their dreams aligns with the mission of the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay.

Continuing to Support the Community

Since 1995, the Women’s Fund, a fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, has granted more than $1.56 million to empower women and inspire girls, promote leadership, and build self-esteem.

In addition to the Women’s Fund endowed funds, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation invited its fundholders to co-invest to increase dollars granted to support women and girls in our community. Grants are awarded based on a competitive application process which includes review by a grants team of community volunteers.

The Women’s Fund is proud to support GBASO’s “Ladies Night” program to give girls and women a safe and supportive space to learn and practice their skills, connect with other female athletes and foster a sense of community.

To learn more about grants, or to learn how to support the Women’s Fund, please visit https://womensfundgb.org/what-we-fund/grants/.

Young female on a skateboard entering the bowl at GBASO.