Around the world every day, every hour, every minute, there are amazing women and girls doing incredible things in their lives and in the lives of others.
We caught up with one of these incredible women, HERA Ambassador Amber Clyde who lives by the advice NEVER GIVE UP. We spoke to Amber about her challenges early on with being a young girl at the skatepark and how she has channelled her energy and experience into a programme for girls to be active through skating.
Amber tells her HERA story.
Never give up. Ever. That’s what I always tell myself no matter what situation I’m in. Even when I was 10 years old starting to skate in the skatepark being the only girl, I’d think of this line over and over.
Bear in mind that I had no other friends with me at this stage, coupled with a lack of support from school (aka no classes to learn).
Not to mention the intense bullying from the older boys at the park. It stunted me. Stunted my love for skating and being active outside, and I slowly lost interest after a few years.
After a few years, I decided to join the gym and create my own fitness plans. This sparked my passion for being active again as I watched myself grow stronger and feel healthier mentally and physically. I wanted others to feel the way I did in that moment so that is what I did: I decided to become a qualified personal trainer.
Life always seems to find a way to challenge us though.
Halfway through my degree, I found out I was pregnant. Ignoring those who told me to quit studying and work more hours at my job, I switched my uni classes to night so I could make it work. I graduated when I was eight months pregnant.
After I gave birth to my daughter, I wanted to experience the feeling of being active again. I started taking myself and her to the gym four times a week. I was loving exercise again!
Two years later, the lack of motivation got me good. I was looking for something different to be active through. It was a decade since I had been on a skateboard and I found myself looking for the board again – BEST DECISION EVER. My anxiety that once lurked was no more. I LOVED IT!
I wanted to take it to a new level, so I started looking into teaching others. After a while teaching for a company, I wanted more so I started up my own girls only skateboard classes – all free of course with a gold coin donation for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Girls from all over Auckland trickled in and slowly but surely, and we soon had a group of 28 girls which meant more classes.
It was priceless seeing these young girls learn new tricks and enjoy themselves. It was all I wanted growing up and now I was giving these girls a chance that I never had.
It has been two years, the classes are still happening, and we have some awesome girls doing their thing on skateboards. Every time I am at the park, I get more and more excited to fall in love with the sport every day.
Never give up on your passion girls. It might sound corny but it’s true. You never know how it can change your life if you just keep trying.