Written by current newbie, Kiera….
Quite unoriginally, I stumbled across roller derby through ‘Whip It’. My friend recommended it to me because Ellen Page is amazing in the film, I was hooked by the sport – and the kick-ass derby names. Eva Destruction, Babe Ruthless, and Rosa Sparks – still not managed to come up with a name to rival these! After a solid few hours of googling everything I can about roller derby, I stumble across this website. Turns out even sleepy Lincolnshire has a team!
I wasn’t sure at first if I’d be able to join – although I’m eighteen, I’m still in high school. The other issue was my skating experience – unless heelies count, I had none. The taster session put me at ease though; except for a few people there who’d skated before, everyone else was a complete newbie too. I’m definitely the baby of the group, but there’s been no issues! There’s a fair age (and ability) gap amongst us newbies, but it’s amazing how quickly you get to know the others.
That was the first thing that struck me, even as early as the taster session – the sense of camaraderie is amazing, amongst the coaches and amongst the newbies. There’s always going to be someone who can do something better than you, but there’s a really clear willingness to help everyone else out, and of course that goes both ways! Although I fell over a lot (and still do … you get used to the bruises), there was such a supportive atmosphere that I hardly felt embarrassed.
The one thing anyone considering roller derby must be warned about … it’s so addictive. I only started in November, and already I’ve bought my own skates! Whether it’s doing a few squats each day or practising your derby stance, there’s always something you can be doing at home, but either way you’ll be counting down the days until the next session.
I’m still not sure if I’m quite tough enough for the contact side of the sport, but with the way things are going, probably I’ll be a lot more confident as a skater and as a person by the time we learn those skills. I definitely think roller derby (and LBRG!!) are worth recommending because of the changes you’ll see in yourself – whatever your reason for trying it out, it’s an amazing chance to do something completely different to anything you’ve ever done before!