By Rosie Archie
Photos by Norma Ibarra, Olga Alguilar, Taylor Ross-Robinson and Tristan Henry
The 7th Annual Stop, Drop and Roll is a special event that happens every year in Vancouver, BC. This year the all day event took place at the Britannia Courts in East Vancouver, a favourite to many local Vancouver skaters.
The main goal of SDR is to create space for Women, Trans, Non-binary and/or Gender non-conforming skaters to come together and inspire each other while meeting new friends.
The day started off with a land acknowledgment followed by the women's warrior song that was dedicated to the late Jaqui McDermott. As I welcomed everyone to SDR, I wanted to remind everyone how important it is to support each other and to make sure everyone felt welcome and safe. You could instantly feel the love and respect.
Offering free skateboard lessons to welcome newcomers into the skateboard community is something I am super passionate about. Making sure anyone that wants to learn how to skateboard is getting the best experience right from the beginning. It was a success with the support from The Late Bloomers Skate Club and The Real Hot Skatemoms. It was super special and life changing for those that participated.
To warm everyone up we started off with the traditional game of S.K.A.T.E. With over 20 people we had 2 groups and narrowed it down to the top 3 of each group. In the end it came down to Britannia locals Dakota and Alexis battling for first place. Dakota won and holds the title for SDR 2022. It was exciting to watch as the tricks were endless and so inspiring.
The jam style format included 4 categories that covered all abilities from beginner to 30+. Everyone got to skate for 4 minutes and 20 seconds. This was meant to be more fun than a competition and it gave everyone time to get in all their tricks with no pressure. The advanced category had a $1000 cash purse thanks to Vans Canada and with the top 4 skating for the cold hard cash it was cool to see all the action.
Antisocial Skate shop's best trick gave everyone a chance to get some more cash for their tricks. Seeing everyone push themselves to land their tricks had the crowd going wild. Thank you Michelle and Rick for always supporting the community and SDR. You made it fun and inclusive for everyone to skate in.
The awards were given out as the sun was going down and it was a special moment to congratulate each other for stepping out of their comfort zone to meet new friends and skateboard with each other. Everyone left a winner, there were so many prizes to choose from; skateboards, trucks, wheels, shoes, clothes you name it we had it. What made it even more special was the trophies were hearts made out of my Colonialism board thanks to Adea at Billy Would Designs.
As friends gathered around the fire pits to keep warm, Dj Sophia Stel kept the good vibes rolling right into the live performances by my cousin Dani Lion and Mexico's own Mango; this ended the day in a beautiful way. As we danced around the fire pits you could still see everyone smiling and hugging each other to keep warm.
With Kassy and Audge on the mic they kept the hype real high and created an inclusive space that made everyone feel welcome. That was the vibe I was going for and as you can imagine doing an event in November is super risky, but totally worth it.
Lastly, thank you to everyone that helped out with drying off the park, the kind folks working at the screen printing booth, Anie and Charmie for helping spread the awareness of mental health, the RHSM ladies at the registration table, the clean up crew, the amazing sponsors, everyone at the Britannia community centre, the Vancouver Skateboard Coalition and anyone I missed you know I couldn’t do this event without you.
Thank you King Skate Mag for doing the recap and special thank you to the photographers that captured the photos throughout this 12 hour day of fun and memories.
See you all next year.