Boarders Without Borders is a documentary that follows the progression of the UK’s first all-female, all BAME* longboarding crew founded by Girl Dreamer, an empowerment platform for young women of colour.
Founders of Girl Dreamer, Amna Akhtar and Kiran Kaur, formed the group with the purpose of using sport for social change.
Amna has an extremely impressive athletic background, having been an Olympic finalist and scouted for a professional football team. She is obsessed with pushing boundaries and going against what is considered to be the norm. She started longboarding by herself around 4 years ago but without the motivation from a community to skate with, to receive encouragement and feedback from, longboarding came to a standstill.
Though longboarding was on hold, her fascination persisted. A few years later, Amna got back on her board but this time decided that she would start a community herself with Girl Dreamer. While honing in on her technique and abilities as a longboarder, she set out to create a rippling effect that encourages sports participation in ethnic minority communities.
The documentary shows how Amna’s lesson plan was disturbed when the girls began to advance far faster than she had anticipated. We see the girls’ confidence grow as they begin to take up a space that turns the heads of passers-by.
What is clear from the women is the difference that it makes to skate as a group rather than skating in solitary. The girls give each other encouragement, they help each other, they aid each other and share amazing times together.
There is no one type of person that longboarding appeals to. The girls themselves all have unique personalities, which really shows in the documentary. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests: they are illustrators, video gamers, musicians, and sportswomen.
A key note to take away from talking to the girls is just how big an impact that representation has on an audience. This group will progress to become amazing riders, and while they do that as part of the UK’s first BAME female longboarding crew, they will create representation for BAME women in longboarding.
As for the future, the girls want to see their wave reaching farther communities, however developing the strength of the local scene remains paramount. Their goals as individuals are as far-reaching as skating long stretches of concrete in South Korea and Barcelona. So far the biggest challenges that they face are sticking hippy jumps and the ever-reliable British weather.
The girls are still on their boards so if you want to collaborate or get involved, they encourage everyone get in touch, find them on their social media platforms.
See the full documentary here:
*(Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic)