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The real reason behind WASN

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

In late autumn 2009 a passionate and thirsty 20 year old me arrived to the beautiful and remote village of Saas-Fee, Switzerland, for the first gathering of Women in Boardsports organised by Carmela Fleury and Daniela Meyer with the help of other great women like Marika Borg and Coco Tache.

My mentor, who had become more of an older sister at the time, had heard through an old friend this was happening and as the visionary she was, and still is, she realised this could be something important and made sure we didn't miss out. I didn't have the experience or the perspective at the time to even know what it meant or what the hell was going on. Until we met everyone and the gathering started.

Something hit me really hard, wether it was the uniqueness of the gathering or the collective passion for the same sports and lifestyle and values that were in that same room from women coming from all over the world and with a wide range of experiences or maybe just the deep feeling of belonging and I experienced all of a sudden, I don't know.

I mean, I had never met such a large group of women, (maybe 40), with so many different backgrounds: from CEOs to students who all had such a strong passion for the sports I loved. My brain exploded!

I realised since the get go that I had to get involved and that I could help. But my voice then wasn't loud enough as I wasn't confident enough. So I just went and offered help and started to work for and with them, fill in the little gaps wherever I could, photography, filming, social media, comms,... My role with the organisation evolved over the years as I gained experience and also the gathering and the community kept evolving and growing on its own accord.

I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that some of the most amazing professional opportunities have come through the connections I had made at these events, the sisterhood and the giving I have personally experienced from the first day it was something that I had not only never experienced before, but I didn't even know was possible. I also met some of my best friends through these events, and for that I will be forever grateful.

There is an ongoing trending topic nowadays on "women helping women", right, well... That's exactly it, but on steroids. I mean, we are all action sports nutters, we are in love with the adrenaline feeling, with the lifestyle of pursuing our passion and the next big thing, so it's not surprising that if we are talking about helping and giving each other a hand it will also be taken as far as we can.

I have interviewed many women since that cool autumn and one of the stories that I keep hearing repeating itself is the "I grew up surrounded by boys, I was the only girl doing this or that, and if there was an another girls joining I would see her as competition instead of an ally...".

Fortunately this is no longer the narrative in many scenes, still some are further ahead than others, but we have mostly realised that that way would have been impossible for us women to progress, achieve anything, navigate through our evolution or even reach happiness.

What worked for the men of our sports and industries wasn't working for us so we had to solve that, and we are doing it. What I understood that first time in Saas-Fee is that there was the opportunity to do things differently and it was up to us wether we wanted to jump on a different train or not.

And this trains never stop. So now, it's evolved into the Women in Action Sport Network which I hope it evolves on it's own and diverts onto many other routes and the main initial goal is to keep providing that space of gathering, coming together, learning from each other, facilitating the individual and the collective growth to spark those realisations and those intentions to do whatever you think it's the next step and give each other a hand on the process of doing so.

My intention with WASN is to ensure that the power of this community keeps alive so many more women can benefit from these connections as much as I did, and hopefully more and the wheel keeps spinning so we can all achieve more change, progress and bigger goals both as individuals and as a community.

Let's do it together!


Alba Pardo is an action sports media specialist with a big focus on the female community and is the founder and co-director of the Women in Action Sports Network. "Beginnings" will be the topic of the month of November as we prepare to open the Membership for the community.

Within the Members Club, Alba will guide the members through the community, facilitate live conversations and interview some of the most inspiring women on the industry. The first live session will be a conversation between Alba and her co-director Justine Mulliez about what it takes to transform an idea into a tangible project.

We'll share ways of brainstorming, strategies for planning, and techniques to overcome self-doubt and other challenges in real time with the objective of helping and empowering other women to launch their ideas into the world, empower this community, and inspire you to get into action.

If you don't miss out keep your eyes open. Registration for the membership opens Nov 1st, and it will be open for a limited time only.


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