Robert Delaney (@robertjdelaney) spoke to Steff Norton (@steffinorts) of @liverpoolgirlskaters about everything from Cilla Black to the skate community on Merseyside. Read on for an insight into the bustling Scouse skate community!
Robert: Heya Steff! Thanks for giving us an opportunity to shed some light on the
Liverpool skate scene , particularly those who skate and identify as female in the
City. First off, what inspired you to starts Liverpool Girl Skaters (LGS)?
Steff: It was when I was heading to Manchester from the Wirral once a week for the
Girls Night at the Cage; I headed to Manchester once a week as the cage was the only space I felt comfortable in as a beginner, as I didn’t see any girls at the Pier Head skating. After some time I felt that I wanted to help to build a community in the Liverpool/Wirral region and inspire
more females to get into skating themselves.
R: How has LGS made an impact in the Scouse skate community?
S: With lockdown restrictions and the impact of the Pandemic, it’s incredible to
see the rise in numbers of female skaters in the area. I hope that the
‘Liverpoolgirlskaters’ page has had something to do with this, showcasing skaters of
all abilities in the local area. Last summer I think it was just me and a couple
of other girls skating, particularly older girls. This year its great seeing more skaters of all
ages and genders. I’m hoping LGS is helping to inspire even more people to pick up a board in our community. I think it’s a lot to do with identify too; not only does
skating help with meeting others but it helps you to belong in a World where so
much is thrown at you on a daily basis.
R: What typically goes down at one of your skate jams?
Honestly, probably the cheesiest thing to say but a really good vibe. There’s
been two events I’ve put on so far. First one was in honour of the amazing Elaine
for ShuvitCancer (@shuvitcancer) and raising money for the charity that helped with her
treatment. I’ve never seen the DIY spot in Liverpool so busy and blown away with
the turn out and the support.
The second one was finally getting a more local girls night sorted at Ramp1 in
Warrington, after a good stint of trying to get it sorted. There’s normally a raffle,
food and just an overall good atmosphere of people wanting to skate and
meeting other skaters from all over.
R: Has there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome with regards to LGS or
any other skateboarding related projects you’ve been involved in?
S: Working six days a week over a course of two jobs (one being teaching and
trying to keep up with social media side of things) alongside trying to keep in balance with general life, yes, definitely. Balance has been a hard thing to get right with all that has been going on. I want more and more people that identify as female to get into skateboarding but at times I struggle myself with getting the balance of my work and social life alongside LGS. I’ve had to overcome a really tough time mentally pretty recently and it’s hard to motivate myself to get back to things when you haven’t got the motivation for much else. Things are looking up now!
I’ve also recently been accepted onto WomenWin and Roll Models programme, where
I am able to get funding for the area and have the means to get hold of
equipment, particularly for those that can’t afford it but want to try skateboarding.
To be honest, I still can’t believe I’m on the programme. It’s an amazing
opportunity and it’s going to have such an amazing impact for the local scene,
even for the likes of getting people down at New Bird to help rebuild and learning
a new skill, using funding to help get cement and tools, along with more
R: You guys recently did a run of some t shirts featuring Cilla Black printed on the
back for international women’s day - could you tell us a bit more about the
meaning behind the design and the others involved in the project ?
S: Honestly, it was after a conversation with my mate Lulu about local female
celebrities from the area. Cilla Black came to my mind. I remember growing up
watching her on T.V and her overall attitude to life was amazing, just having
fun and a laugh, along with being an all-round talent and a main female presenter
at a time when there wasn’t that many. Learning to not take life too seriously and
slow it down.
(Below) Steff in the Cilla Black x Liverpool Girl Skaters T-Shirt designed by @sketchstance and @conniegascoyne
R: Does skating on Merseyside hold any unique characteristics unseen elsewhere
in the realm of UK skate communities?
S: I think the attitude and friendliness is definitely there. It’s in the initial stages of learning to skateboard when it can feel intimidating, particularly in areas such as the Pier. As soon as you get into skating and learn, you realise quite quickly everyone is
concentrating on their own tricks or lines. I think Liverpool as a city is probably
one of the friendliest places to be in, especially as majority of people have such a good sense of humour and you normally get spoken to where ever you go. It definitely isn’t a lonely city when you start exploring.
R: What can we expect to see from LGS in the future?
Hopefully more events and t-shirts! I have so many ideas, such as decorating old
skateboards, getting a tutorial at the local shop Lost Art (@lostartshop) about all the parts of the board, DIY events, more Girls Nights and just over all events to get the community together and to support one another where ever we can.
R: Is there anyone from the Liverpool scene we should watch out for in the future?
S: I think there’s a huge variety of talent that is coming out of the skate scene currently; with regards to younger talents we have Ava and Maiya, alongside them we have plenty of skaters with different creative styles such as Lola Curtis. It’s also inspiring to see the mum’s getting into skating or trying something new in a supportive community. There’s also the likes of Gracie, Irma, Georgia and Jen who are all killing it!