On Sept 6, 2022 at 3pm PST, one of our cofounders Imani Rickerby had a great discussion with Kendal Troutman and her daughter Amai as they talk about sportsmanship and inclusivity. Kendal also talks about her nonprofit #ThruGuidance.
(Screenshot of IG Live)
Both Kendal and Amai introduce themselves. Kendall is the leader of ThruGuidance and has put 65 kids on the ice. Amai sings her mothers praises and shouts out her love of being a multi talented athlete. Amai is a hockey player, dancer and ice skater. She says she loves how all her talents make her feel. She loves feeling free and expressing herself on the ice.
One accomplishment that Kendal is proud of is seeing six skaters competed for the first time in spring of this year. She said it makes all the struggles and difficulties worthwhile.
Amai started dancing when she was three and ice skating when she was four. Her and her mom saw an advertisement for Synchro and tried to move forward. But Kendal ran into a problem when trying to sign Amai up for skating. When she tried to sign her up, the coaches were being condescending. They were even hesitant to give her a form because they told her it cost too much. Even when Amai started ice skating, there were additional costs. She had to get the make up kits and get additional things to fit Amai's skin tone.
Kendal's last straw was when George Floyd died and the Black Live Matter movement was in full effect, nothing was said in the ice rink. There was no acknowledgement or discussion towards black ice skaters. So Kendal decided to make a movement of her own. In 2022, she now has 125 kids on the ice. Amai then voiced her praise for her mom for being inspirational to her in adding more representation to her mind.
Amai first thought about her coach was that she looks like me. It made her realize that there can be black coaches. Imani reiterated that "It is good for us to see not just students, but also we need governing bodies like coaches, judges and technical panelists in all different backgrounds so you can see yourself inside and outside the rink".
Imani then asked them both How do you think ThruGuidance affects athletes of color? Kendall explained that people didn't know there was organizations such as Thruguidance that can help with performers of color. Amai said that it makes her happy and more comfortable that she can be herself on the ice. She also doesn't have to worry about being the only one who looks like her on the ice, She focus on being the best skater she can be.
Imani's last question was How do you perform in color? Kendal says that she performs in color by being authentically herself. She also makes sure her daughter Amai is authentically herself with her expression and her style and her hair. Amai wrote a speech to answer this question. She proudly proclaimed She's happy to be able to do what she loves and tights that match her skin tone perfectly (Pst Amai is the Candice shade here). Amai continues to say that the world isn't just light or dark and people have rights in the world to be themselves. It is empowering to be yourself on the ice.
Imani concluded this interview by saying this is what Aurora works tirelessly for.