Manon Derrien: A bladie who inspires and empowers
The number of girls, who are taking up aggressive blading is larger than ever. We talked to pro bladie Manon Derrien, about the rise, the future, and the challenges of being a bladie.
She is one of the coolest girls we know. A top bladie, who has won more contests than we can count. She inspires girls all over the world with her smooth style that makes every trick look easy.
Manon Derrien is one of the bladies who is paving the way for more women to get into aggressive inline skating.
"I want to be that girl, who got other girls to blading. It's about giving lessons, making videos, speaking to girls and giving them ideas and tips - and I want to inspire them to get out and skate", she says.
More visibility and more role models
According to Manon, one of the essential things in the growing numbers of bladies is the increasing attention that they have received from events, competitions, brands, and shops.
“This increasing attention gives us a bigger reach, which makes it easier to show that women can do extreme sports too," she says and adds.
"Another thing is that since more girls are blading it's also way easier to find a role model that you can see yourself in. An idol, you want to skate like her, be like her, or look like her.”
We need a more open-minded community
Though the number of bladies has grown, and they get more attention and recognition from the industry, Manon points out that there still are important issues to address.
"We are still struggling with sexism within the blading community, both online and in real life. I know for a fact that many bladies get scared away when they encounter stuff like that", she says and adds.
"I talk to girls, who are nervous about skating in front of guys because they know that they are thinking things like she's a girl, she will be falling, she can't do that, she's too bad - And that's a huge problem".
We take action
Manon points out that women and girls all over the world are working together on building up a female blading community and making it even bigger and stronger as it is now.
Photo: Kaspars Alksnis
“Girls all over the world are teaming up to make people aware of our community. Some trough Instagram, others through skate schools, and some are even producing bladies merch. To me, it’s amazing to be a part of such a creative and inspiring community”, she says.
For her, it's essential to take matters into her own hands to inspire girls to get into the sport, and the last couple of years, she has been an instructor at BladingCamp in Spain.
"I'm doing BladingCamp with Mery Muñoz, and each year we can see new girls joining in - that is amazing. This camp is a way to pass on the torch and securing a future generation of bladies", she says.