How A Skateboard Club Saved My Life

By Ginny Laverty

Guest blogger, Ginny

For most of my life, I have been a very depressed person who relied on the energy of those around me to keep me from sinking deeper into that horrible pit called loneliness.

I stumbled across a local group of skater girls who held weekly meet ups. I was terrified to join them, since I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I had always wanted to learn to skateboard, and it looked like they were having so much fun.

I was surprised at how welcoming the girls were. They all greeted me and asked questions about myself, and they started to teach me some basic skateboard things.

It was from this first meet up that I knew that this group was something special, and I was so right! 

100% Skate Club was the best thing that had ever happened to me. A friend of mine who was also interested in learning to skate, joined me at the club meet ups. For the first year or so, I would only go to the meet ups with her, as I was too nervous to go by myself. 

Ginny with her skater friends Jackson and Alyson at our 2019 Year-end Party

I started slowly getting to know everyone there and feel more comfortable being around the other skaters. 100% Skate Club started to become family to me, and I could feel my depression slowly starting to dissipate with every session. I knew that this skate club was my saving grace, and that I needed to do as much as I could to support them.

Text HOME to 686868

If someone is feeling suicidal and is afraid to talk to someone, whether it be for anxiety reasons, or whatever, there is a text line available. You will be connected with someone from Kids Help Phone, who will continue to text you and help you out until they are no longer needed. This number is a 24/7 line, and even though it is Kid’s Help Phone, it can be used by adults in distress also.

I was at a low point in my depression, and it was hitting me harder than ever. I wanted to do as much as I could do to help keep this club alive and available for all the people who loved and relied on it as much as I did. Putting all this energy into 100% Skate Club, gave my mind something positive to focus on during an extremely hard time in my life. I started to slowly forget why I was depressed.

Ginny with the gang at a June 2020, 100% Skate sesh

Every single skate sesh I went to, gave me a reason to smile. I got to know all the skater girls as well as some of the parents! Not only was this club giving me new friends to spend time with, but it was also getting me exercise in a time where I wasn’t super active. And volunteering for the board pushed me out of my comfort zone; something that I really needed to do. It gave me a sense of purpose.

I would go as far as saying that 100% Skate Club saved my life when I was in a place that was very scary for me. It took the suicidal thoughts that were in my head and gave me a reason to keep living: to come to the next skate meet.

To this very day, I am still depressed, and I still have suicidal thoughts on a regular basis, however I know that I have a family waiting for me next skate season.

It’s amazing how much of a difference a club or group activity can make when you are feeling depressed. It gives you a sense of community, a sense of family; something to live for. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the founders of 100% Skate Club: Erica Jacobs, and Marlene Hielema, you two have saved a life by creating a beautiful community!

I can’t wait to see everyone again!

The centre for suicide prevention has many resources on how to talk to someone thinking about suicide. You can start with the article below.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call 1-833-456-4566.
Or text: HOME to 686868
In Alberta you can call 211 for non emergencies, and be connected to Community Services. In emergency situations, always call 911.