Meet Katarina Rajh, the force behind GUTS (Girls up to skate) and find out more about her latest project PEEPS DIY.

When Katarina first set up skateboarding nights for girls, she courageously took the lead and showed up week after week, even when she was the only one for six months. 
But her determination paid off, because now she’s surrounded by a like minded crew of skaters and creators with whom she can synergise to her hearts content.
Originally from Slovenia, Katarina started GUTS in New Plymouth in June 2022, with the goal of making skateboarding more accessible and less intimidating for women of all ages. 
As a late starter herself, Katarina knows the challenges of beginning with falls and feeling embarrassed among seasoned skaters.  
GUTS is now a safe space for girls where they have the opportunity to build confidence to represent more in skateparks .

Katarina’s latest project is called PEEPS DIY and  is currently evolving into a creative space which is in many ways a mirror of Katarina herself. Humble, without too many rules and open to connection and transformation.
If you ask her about why DIY, the answer is because it’s coming straight from skateboarding culture. If you are trying to build something with only little resources, it boosts your brain and creativity and when you skate an object that you have created yourself you feel connected to it and you appreciate it even more.
Katarina is very proud about the fact that the bowl that is now part of PEEPS is made of 100% recycled materials, even the screws, she adds. 
But PEEPS is not only a skatepark, it’s a creative hub, a meeting point to give all sorts of people a chance to follow their passions or discover new ones be it screen printing, music, photography or any other ideas we all too often dismiss because of a lack in time, money or guts.
A lot of courage for this project also comes from a sense of community down here in New Plymouth she says.
Her partner Matej and herself were working after hours to finish off the bowl and a lot of friends are helping little by little. Some offer material, some ideas and some just pop in to say hi and support you with inspiring words.
Sometimes, she says, all you have to do is ask and you’ll be surprised how far it can get you.

Katarina is aware that she’ll have to source ways to pay rent but she is a big believer that you can only do what you know best, you do it for your own well being and you will contribute to the wellbeing of others and that hopefully will somehow pay off.

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