Norway is about to have the first festival for self-organized activities. It’s called UFB Vårslipp and it includes roller skating. This was only possible thanks to the initiative of Girls on Wheels. Since its creation in 2019, the group has been working tirelessly and voluntarily to grow interest in roller skating in Norway, and also in France. Four years later they are part of a government founded festival with international coaches, specially built ramps, sports and music.
When talking to Julie-Christine Adélaïde Krøvel, one of the initiators of Girls on Wheels she says that they are a team of instructors, children and youth.
“Girls on Wheels has become the biggest roller skate movement in Norway. We have weekly sessions for children and youth every Monday 30 minutes from Oslo center. We play music, vinyl records and skate from 4pm – 8pm all year long. We have 120 active members every week,” Julie explains.
One of their biggest dreams now came true by not just being part of a big festival bit also having the funds to invite instructor such as Barbie Patin, Bomba Hache or Thais on Wheels.
“After two years of voluntarily work we had meetings with the local commune and asked if we could figure something out. It resulted in a small festival which soon turned into a huge festival with international skaters. Quads, skateboard, break dance and scoot. We saw the strength of standing together,” Julie says.
Participation in the event and workshops will be free for children and youth. Girls on Wheels have around 50 pairs of roller skates to lend out for free, as well as protection gear. Julie says that visiting skaters from abroad are welcomed but they will prioritize youth first, for the workshops. “on day one we have a tight program, but day two we have a chill skate day and it will be easier to join.”
Julie, who is a professional photographer and filmmaker, is excited as there will be an exhibit of artwork and photography from their roller skate documentary “Ça Roule,” as well as a short preview/trailer of the documentary inside the skate hall.
“Ça Roule is a cinematographic film project we have worked on since 2020. It’s about six different girls from France, who talk about how they started, the community and being a woman/girl skating in places often dominated by other activities or men. It’s about life, positive and things that are more difficult. It is meant to inspire skaters in Norway as well as all over Europe. It’s in French but we have Norwegian subtitles (maybe English as well).”
If everything works out as they planned it, there will be a live stream from the festival and live interviews to watch on www.girlsonwheels.no.