In the outdoor world, women far too often sit back while their male counterparts jump cliffs, climb granite walls and stomp gnarly lines. I’ve watched as women and girls doubt their own strength, take laps on the intermediate runs, belay for their boyfriends and watch as their husbands fly off to go heli-skiing while they stay home sure they could never meet the challenge. There’s a whole world of fun and adventure passing them by.
That’s where SheJumps comes in.
A non-profit organization started by professional skier Claire Smallwood, SheJumps “strives to increase female participation in outdoor activities by building upon a supportive community that inspires its members to reach their highest potential.”
SheJumps wants to empower women of all abilities and focuses on three stages of women in adventure.
- Those are: 1) Elite female athletes looking for a network 2.) Already actives looking for a community 3.) And never-evers, girls and women who would otherwise never have the chance to experience the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle.
- For elite level female athletes, they are a voice and a place to give back. They work to recognize the “jumps” (i.e. risks) women have taken to follow their passions and the accomplishments of those who are an inspiration to others. They also offer a network for girls and women looking to get into the sports industry with intentions of elevating females in sport and mainstream media. With the goal of offering young girls real role models, these athletes are often times called upon to be “coaches” in events that support the development of all women involved.
- For already active women, they have groups all over the country getting together for everything from day ski tours to overnight canyoneering adventures. They welcome you to develop your own group and post your outings on their “Jump In!” page.
- For never-evers, they create activities and events that directly help those who might never otherwise have the chance to experience the benefits of challenging oneself in the outdoors.
With local clubs in several cities across the West, an online chat room, and the Jump In page, these Jumpers are showing women how to get involved in and give back to a growing community of outdoor adventurers.
Bravo Claire and all SheJumpers out there. Way to aim high and take that leap towards a life of adventure and personal growth.
Now go check out their website and get ready to Jump in.
- Weekly High-Five Report: Outdoors for All (kimkircher.com)