Roller derby isn’t just a sport, it’s a community. It’s a group of people with a shared passion and open hearts.
The first time I ever heard about roller derby was when I attended the MECA roller disco. Two members of WRD scared the crap out of me. They told me was quite steady on skates and suggested I give Roller Derby a go. I thought “yeah, why not?”
My friend Mark also wanted to give it go so we agreed. When I got to the car park for my first training session the nerves really hit me; I was doing this. Am I going to be alright? Am I going to fit in?
I was scared but I got out of the car and went in, and it was the best thing I've done. All of the coaches were so friendly and supportive; if you didn’t understand something, they would find another way to explain it and really took the time to break things down.
Each week I found myself becoming more comfortable that I was fitting in, like I was already part of the team. Going to their games, helping NSO, cheering them on all helped me to get to know the skaters more and made me feel more confident!
Without these amazing and talented people, I would not have managed to build my skills as a skater for roller derby. When I passed minimum skills, I was so over the moon.
I was looking forward to my first main league session but my nerves started building again and I was worried that if I couldn’t do something, I'd be letting them (the coaches) down. Unsurprisingly though, I was alright. The support and advice from everyone was amazing and they made me feel like part of the team.
I went to my first rookie game and, again, the support was just incredible helping me overcome my nerves, giving me advice and just making me feel part of the team.
Roller Derby isn’t just a sport, it’s a family that helps you become the best you can be and encourages you can be yourself with no need to hide anything. You know that your team are there to help you back up and support you when you need them (sometimes literally).
To anyone else that might be nervous about giving Roller Derby a shot – just try it! You’ll be opening up the door to a new support network of amazing people that just want to help you to be the best you can be.