Two Canberrans become first women to represent Australia in slalom skateboarding – ABC News

Two Canberrans become first women to represent Australia in slalom skateboarding
Ayesha Pang started slalom skateboarding just six months ago, after a relative suggested she "give it a crack".
Yet on her second day competing in the sport, she managed to qualify to represent Australia.
In contrast, Imogen McMillan has been slaloming competitively for about 15 years, after her father introduced her to the sport as a child.
"He was doing it, and I decided I wanted to do it, too," McMillan said.
These two Canberrans have now become the first women chosen to represent Australia in slalom skateboarding.
They will compete in the World Skate Games, to be held in Argentina next month.
McMillan said the prospect was "a combination of very daunting and very exciting".
Slalom skateboarding is a form of downhill skateboard racing, in which racers skate down a course usually marked by plastic cones.
"The aim of the game is to get to the bottom of the road as fast as you can, without missing any cones and hitting as few as possible," McMillan said.
Pang said the timer started once the first wheel of the skateboard crossed onto the course, and then "you try to weave through the cones as fast as you can" to the finish line.
The pair practise at Canberra's Mount Stromlo a few times a week, setting up cones on a long stretch of road that has a slight incline.
Competitive courses can be set up differently. But their preferred course is a "hybrid", which "has aspects of really tight cones where you weave through really fast, and ones that are more spread out so you carve around them", Pang said.
Competitive skateboarding is a growing sport that debuted at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last year.
Pang said "skateboarding has a lot of potential, particularly with younger people, to really engage people back into individualised sport", while McMillan said slaloming was "a completely unique style of sport" that "people sorely underestimate".
Both agreed that slalom skateboarding had "an incredibly good community-based support group around it", as Millan put it.
"I've skated between Newcastle, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Canberra, and in Victoria, and I've never been met with any form of resistance," she said.
"Everyone is so keen for any person, any age bracket, to get into it."
She said participants did not even need to go to a skate park to try it; they could "just find a road and set some cones up".
Pang said budding slalomers simply needed "a helmet, some flat shoes, and any type of skateboard to start with".
They both hope that, by representing Australia in the sport, more women will try skateboarding.
"I just want to pave a really positive way forward for other girls in skateboarding, and I want to give them the opportunity to see this sport and then participate in it themselves in the years to come," McMillan said.
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