28 de Feb de 2020

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Panamanian girl creates the first skater women's association of Jerusalem

Paola Ruiloba is a founding member of 'Jerusalem Skater Girls' (JSG) and won the first place on a national skate competition in Modiin


Paola Ruiloba practices a pretty unusual hobby where she lives: skating was merely a sport for men in The Holy City, in spite that it was already practiced by girls in other cities.

This situation changed when Maayan Levi, an israeli-jewish girl of moroccan origines, and Ruiloba, started to hang about at the Gan Saker skate park in Jerusalem.

Gan Saker is a quite small skate park, which forced both men and women skaters to take the streets. Policemen constantly detained the girls.

"For them (policemen) it was weird; street sports were disorder to their eyes and even more in a city where there's a lot of tension between the different cultures that coexist here. They just wanted to guarantee the calmness of the streets. Anyway, here in town there are bigger problems than girls skating", states Paola.

Even though there was no infrastructure for practicing, more and more girls joined the group formed by Maayan and Paola. Even orthodox religious youngsters joined them and evaded their concerned parents by wearing a skirt and pants underneath.

Together with the other girls, they founded 'Jerusalem Skater Girls' (JSG),the first group of skater women in the city. 22-year-old Paola, who is a student of Industrial Design, was in charge of the logo and the group's t-shirts, currently sold all over the country.

Jerusalem Skater Girls has also participated in protest actions that took place in front of the city hall, which demanded the construction of new skate parks. Thanks to these actions, Jerusalem's mayor Nir Barkat decided to concede the youth of the city a new space for skating.

Skate is a sport which demands not only practicing, but also competing, says Paola, which is why the girls participated in the national skate championship in the city Modiin, where Paola obtained the first place.

According to Maayan, a student of Ecology at the Hebrew University and in charge of contacting other skater girls all over the world, "there's still a lot to be done, but from now on skating will be a lot easier for girls in Ierushalaim".