Footpatrol International Women’s Day | Changing the Record with Lyndsay, Neighbourhood Skate Club
It’s time to change the record. At Footpatrol we’re all about building a space to highlight creatives, and want to empower the women we have within our community. For International Women’s Day, we’ve teamed up with a female owned social media agency, spring, for a month-long campaign to change the record around stigmas and stereotypes that women face in their respective industries.
Introducing founder and creator of Neighbourhood Skate Lyndsay McLaren (@lynders). We spoke with Lyndsay about how she’s changing the record for women within the skate community, giving them a safe space to learn and share their passion.
Footpatrol: Lyndsay, great to meet you! Tell us about yourself.
Lyndsay: I’m Lyndsay, and I’m the founder of Neighbourhood Skate Club. I’m really passionate about positive impact and community action, so I started Neighborhood a few years ago to try and help make skateboarding more accessible and welcoming for everybody.
FP: What does ‘change the record’ mean to you?
Lyndsay: Change the record is really about doing things in a way that feels good without worrying about how things were done in the past or how you think things should be done, just because someone told you that’s the way you need to do it. I think it’s about staying true to yourself and about what feels good, and following your passion and really trusting your gut and instincts to do ultimately what you want to do and be your own boss.
FP: Yes! How did Neighbourhood Skate club come into the world?
Lyndsay: Coming out of the lockdown in 2020, I started to see more women in the park that I was skating at, coming out and learning how to skate. A lot of them were beginners, and they all looked really terrified and intimidated. You could tell that they didn’t want to make eye contact with other people in the park. So as somebody who was a bit more comfortable on my board, I felt really driven to just create more conversation and help try and create a safer space.
FP: Do you face any stereotypes or stigmas as a female skateboarder?
Lyndsay: As a female skateboarder, within the skateboarding community, it’s great. Everybody is really welcoming, everybody cheers you on, and I definitely feel at home within the skateboarding community. There are more women, and more of a variety of people skating than ever before. However, it’s outside that core skate community where there are still issues in perception of why you’re skateboarding as a women and what you’re trying to achieve as a female skater so a lot of people think it’s to do with clout chasing or meeting a boy, it surely couldn’t just be because it’s something that makes you feel good and something that you’re passionate about.
I can’t tell you the amount of harassment I’ve experienced – street harassment, catcalling, groping, being followed home. There’s this idea that just because I’m out in a public space, doing something, that I’m welcoming your eyes, I’m welcoming your attention. I can tell you I’m not. So for me, it’s really important to open the dialogue about the abuse that we experience as women in general and as women skateboarders. And that’s why it’s so important to change the record.
FP: Proudest achievement to date?
Lyndsay: My proudest achievement to date is teaching over 100 women to skate in the first year that I started Neighbourhood Skate Club whilst having a full time job, wrangling a tiny big puppy and living my life to the fullest.
FP: What have you done to change the record in skateboarding?
Lyndsay: Something that I’m really proud of when it comes to changing the record and breaking down barriers within women’s skateboarding is not focusing purely on young skaters. So what I am really passionate about is letting women who are in their late twenties, their thirties, their forties, I think the oldest woman I’ve taught to skate has been 65. There is such a thing, I think in skateboarding, that you should start when you’re a kid and after that it’s too late for you and it’s really, really not.
FP: Why is IWD still important and needed?
Lyndsay: International women’s day is still so important and valid even in today’s world because it is accelerating gender equality globally, which is still such a humongous issue. So many women across the world are still experiencing violence at the hands of men and the system and until we’re not seeing women murdered because they left their house, then there’s still work to do.
FP: What does the future look like for women in sport and skating? What do you want to see?
Lyndsay: I think the future for women in sport and skating is very bright. There are more women taking part in our sports than ever before, which is hugely inspiring to see and be a part of that shift.
FP: Do you have a piece of advice for your younger self?
Lyndsay: If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, it would be to stop sweating the small stuff, believe in myself, trusting myself and get out there and don’t let anything hold you back.
Make sure to follow @lynders and @neighbourhoodskate
Shout-out to the full female team that worked on this campaign:
This campaign is powered by Nike!