Atita Verghese: India's first female pro skateboarder
Updated 11:49 PM ET, Thu September 14, 2017
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- Atita Verghese is India's first female professional skateboarder
- She teaches children to skate and also volunteers to build skate parks
- She founded Girl Skate India, a collective that aims to inspire more women to pick up the sport
(CNN)When Atita Verghese stepped on a skateboard for the first time, it wasn't her own.
She'd been loaned the board from a male friend. That gesture, she says, was the most pivotal moment of her life so far, guiding her towards a ground-breaking career as India's first professional female skateboarder.
"I felt like nothing existed outside of that skate park," the 23-year-old skater tells CNN. "That moment I had -- it was perfect."
In 2015, she co-founded Girl Skate India, an initiative that teaches girls how to skate, promotes gender equality and brings together skateboarders in India through workshops.
At the end of 2015, the group organized 12 skaters from nine countries to embark on an all-female four-city skate tour -- the first in India -- using the sport to empower underprivileged girls around the country.
If anyone is an advert for the power of the skateboard, it's Verghese.