It's safe to say that 2020 has been the year we all remember. When March rolled round and we took the difficult decision to postpone the first camp, followed by the next after next until there were no camps left, HQ were starting to realise that She Flies may not fly the year we worked hard for.
What we forgot in that thinking, is that Women are hungry for it.
On Sunday we hosted the first She Wakes Mini Festival.
We wondered after selling out in a few days if it was luck, but after feeling the buzz on the day and the energy that followed, it's safe to say; last Sunday will be the first of many.
An awesome edit by Dom at Resonant Visual
New Forest Water Park is a family run, inviting and encouraging place to be; when we first went to meet with brother and sister, Ben and Millie, it was obvious that we found the right park. Ben's immediate reaction to She Flies was without hesitation, he knew that raising the profile of Women in Wakeboarding to encourage more is not just positive - it's important - you can see that through the promotion he does of his up and coming riders.
The day came around quickly and with the help of our brilliant volunteers, we were ready and raring for the Welcome Talk in our She Flies Speakers Corner. Even with limited numbers, to ensure we kept the risk of COVID low, there was a real buzz from beginners, frequent riders and pro's; all listening, anticipating the day, ready to get to know each other.
She Flies makes a promise at our events; if you're coming alone, you won't feel alone. We invite women as groups but we focus on the Women without. We want those that hear about it and have no one to come with; to come, to be present and to make a community around them that will push them and encourage them to come again.
We were really lucky to have some incredible sponsored riders join us, tell us their story and of course, perform for us. When these girls hit the cable, together, supported by our DJ Ellie Stokes; it was hard to know who to watch. Whilst Izzy Goode and Leah Morgan were kicking out Blind Judge after Roll to Reverts after Krypt; Victoria Goode and India Laverick were hitting the obstacles with every rotation and grab you could imagine and Madison White was showing us that her reputation for steeze and style in every trick on rails but also the kickers, was mesmerising.
Watching the girls at the dock were the guests at She Wakes. It's hard to explain but the energy was this mash up of excitement, anticipation, ambition but also pride. Pride for these women who are shredding this cable, all together, and absolutely ripping. Seeing them up there drives so much inspiration in the women watching and their performances put a big chunk of magic on the day.
When they weren't on the cable, we invited some great guest speakers including Tilly Hunter at just 11 years old, an up and coming rider and member at the New Forest Cable Park who taught us a thing or two about mindset; Sara Mosely who took us through her inspiring journey to overcome a rare condition and Madison White, Izzy Goode and Victoria Goode who told us what it's like to progress in the Wakeboard world.
That's not all, we had the Wetsuit Centre advising women on what to look for to find the perfect fit suit, Double Up Wakeboards sharing out demo boards for the lady shredders, Sylwia from Infinity Sport Fitness giving expert advice on injury prevention and Alex Meade Yoga throughout the day preparing, recovering and deep stretching our ladies with her beautiful practise that we know and love.
She Flies is a social enterprise, which means the organisation runs as a not-for-profit. With that in mind, we want to take this opportunity to thank our incredibly supportive and hard working volunteers. Not only did most of them start their long journey at 6am with a late finish, but they didn't stop all day; Clemmie Jones, Emma Linzel, Alex Meade, Sylwia Zeleszkiewicz, Penny Haythorn and Ellie Stokes. Thank you ladies for all of your support throughout the day.
For She Flies, 2020 means a lot more than 'that year the pandemic happened' and it's thanks to the women who join us at our events both online and reality that help us remember that. You women have an energy about you and we won't stop pushing it forward.
She Wakes 2021: Watch This Space.