Listen to this article here

Two students at Howard University have made history as the first-ever figure skating team at a Historically Black College University.

Howard students have expressed their excitement for the upcoming season with the new team.

Ariel Clarke, a senior community development major, serves as the community chair on the board. Clarke told The Black Wall Street Times, “By diversifying the world of figure skating, we are challenging the expectations of what people think young Black girls and Black boys can and cannot do. We are breaking glass ceilings by creating opportunities for ourselves and the generations to come.”

At seven years old, junior psychology major Maya James and senior political science major Cheyenne Walker began skating. Ever since then, they fell in love with the sport and wanted to bring their passion to Howard University.

Figure Skating
Howard University Ice Skating Team preparing for the upcoming season at the Gardens Ice House. (Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Francis)

When she was younger, James started synchronized skating and began competing individually.

After many years away from the ice, James began to miss the desire of being on ice. Her longing prompted her to contact Walker.

Shortly after, the two became friends and worked together to form a figure skating team. Howard University partnered with Diversify Ice, a non-profit organization that helps non-Whites find prosperous careers in figure skating.

Diversify Ice is changing the faces of figure skating

Diversify Ice assisted in providing Howard University with Black coaches while also enduring a legacy of diversity and inclusivity through the team.

Joel Salvary, founder of Diversify Ice, is thrilled to partner with Howard’s Skating Team, believing the team will be successful and that it mirrors the core of their mission. Salivary states, “Our entire team is really invested in this. Of course, the historical opportunity, but also it’s an opportunity to break barriers to get a brand new team up and running.”

The Figure Skating team is not associated with Howard Athletics. However, they will soon compete against different D1 teams in other regions, such as the University of Delaware.

With the establishment of this team, not only are Howard students making history, but they are also defying the odds and changing the landscape of the ice rink.

Hello, my name is Sydney Anderson and I am from the Bronx, New York. I am a senior at Delaware State University, majoring in mass communications with a concentration in convergence journalism. At DSU,...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply