I joined WRD Skate Academy in June 2016 and have loved every minute of it so far. I was nervous when I started as I’d never done anything like it and was worried that I’d fall over and make a fool of myself – I did, but I got back up and tried again! Passing level 1 was the best feeling and everyone there from main leaguers to my fellow new skaters have been so supportive and encouraging, I just wish I’d started sooner!Must-Slam Sally
I’m a skating geek but I wouldn’t be skating so much with out roller derby! I’d never skated on quad skates before roller derby though I was able to pick it up quickly and loved it. It’s now been two years since discovering the sport and I’m doing more and more of it! Skating more than ever.SnakeBite
Learn How To Skate
There is a place for everyone in our league. If you’re new to skating or haven’t done it for years, don’t worry – we will happily coach anyone no matter what their skill level. Join our Skate Academy and we will teach you how to skate properly, stop safely and perform some nifty tricks.
Our three-tiered training program is structured to give you all the minimum skills required to participate in roller derby and we even provide you with skates and protective equipment so don’t wait, get in touch! If you’re nervous or unsure please read our faq (below) and the feedback from some of our skaters to put your mind at ease. Don’t worry – roller derby is journey and definitely an adventure!
Become An Official Or Referee
Would you like to learn to skate confidently and be part of our league but don’t want the full contact? We have many roles to suit every skill level from novice skaters to non-skaters. By becoming a Referee or a Non-Skating Official (NSO) you would play a vital role in our league. They enforce the rules and keep everyone safe on bout day. Both are hugely important parts of roller derby and without them we wouldn’t be able to play any games.
If you don’t know what role you might like our Skate Academy is a good place to start and get a feel for the incredible sport we all love. We have a fantastic social scene and are a real community from a variety of backgrounds that over time have become a large WRD family and we have room for lots more!
The Skate Academy
We train every Thursday at Isambard Community School from 7pm to 8.30pm. Those who progress to level two and three are also able to train an extra hour on Sundays from 6pm-7pm with our main league skaters at a Nova Hreod School.
Please email us before you come to register your interest and check availability as sometimes there is a waiting list to start. We also need to discuss what equipment you will need so we can have it ready for you when you start. Head on over to the contact page to send us a message.
Your first lesson is free!
I approached WRD after watching a whole training session back in Febuary 2012 – they offered me cake and that was it! Seriously though, we’d moved into a new area and I found it difficult to try to meet people and make friends (I didn’t know anyone). Roller derby has helped mevmeet a group of awesome open-minded people (my derby family), encouraged me to be brave and try new things, to become more body confident, to be proud of what I have and what I can do and to appreciate the variety of people that participate in our sport.Bookworm’s Revenge
When I started I could only just about skate forwards and it took me 13 long months to pass my minimum skills back in 2013. I was quite a shy and quiet person before joining but roller derby has helped me gain so much self confidence, body confidence and friends all over the country. I’ve never been sporty but this is by far the best thing I’ve ever got involved in.Ginge
Roller derby has changed my life! It started off as a hobby and I slowly meandered through my minimum skills in 9/10 months. The transition between freshmeat and main league was enormous but a welcome challenge – it really helped me become more confident in my own ability on and off skates. Roller derby is a community and once you’re involved there are so many ways to connect with skaters all over the world. It’s also a sport you dedicate as much or as little time to as you like – some skaters attend training once in a blue moon and some are there every session and involved in every game imaginable.Jezika Stab-it
Transferring in from another team was a little scary at first but everyone is so wonderful that I felt instantly at ease. It’s been the step up that I craved and needed and I’m enjoying the new challenge.Gemma
Skate Academy FAQ
How old do I have to be to play roller derby and join Skate Academy?
You need to at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit and roller derby is something a lot of us find later in life and wish we had found it sooner!
What should I wear?
We find that wearing something loose or stretchy is the way to go. Don’t wear something hot and restrictive like jeans. Sports leggings or shorts are great for this sort of thing and wear a vest or t-shirt that’s comfortable.
What do I need to bring?
Please bring water or a drink of some sort. We supply all the equipment you will need to begin with. If later on you want to purchase your own and want advice please contact us first as we’re full of useful knowledge. Excluding mouth guards we strongly recommend trying out other people’s gear before making a purchase and if you ask nicely we don’t mind either.
When you move up to level 2 you will need a mouth guard as you will whilst you won’t be participating in full contact, you will be skating close to other people and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What does it cost?
Your first session is free! After that we ask for £5 per session. If after a month or so you think it might be for you, we ask for a £5 membership fee a month and £15 for level 1 academy skaters per month (£20 total a month for around 6 hours of skating).
When you go up to level 2 and 3 we ask for the £5 membership fee plus £20 per month and don’t forget in these two levels you get the extra hour a week training on Sundays. It’s a great deal!
What do I get for paying a membership fee?
It gives you an account on our private social network platform (which is used for communications) and voting rights to make important decisions for the league. Becoming a member and paying the membership fee is a requirement after the introductory period.
When and where are your Skate Academy sessions?
We train from 7pm to 8.30pm at:
Isambard Community School
You can find the hall by entering the school via Red Oaks car park.
What if I only want to learn how to skate and I don’t want to play roller derby?
We will happily teach you how to skate but keep in mind that our Skate Academy is tailored around teaching people the skills to play roller derby. You will also always have the option of becoming a Referee, Non-Skating Official or other roles within WRD.
I’m nervous and I don’t know if I can skate, what if I fall over?
We all had to start somewhere. Some of us were naturals and picked it up easily but more often than not we found it took a lot of time to get it right. The Skate Academy is designed to teach you the fundamentals of skating, so you can nail each skill. We are patient and so, so willing to help you on your journey. Even our main league skaters can fall over sometimes.
I don't have anyone to go with, I'm nervous about coming alone!
Be brave, we are only scary on track! Everyone is made to feel welcome and you will make lots of friends along the way. We hold regular team social events so there’s plenty of time to get to know everyone.
What are the weird names associated with skaters?
When you make the team you get to choose you own roller derby name and number. These are printed on your team shirts and are what you will be referred to in bouts, so choose carefully!