Insight into roller derby from a beginners perspective
One of the Dollies newer skaters ‘Birdie’ gives an insight into what it’s like trying out roller derby for the first time and being part of the ‘space cadet programme’.
When I first saw the event on Facebook for the dollies intake day I was interested, but apprehensive. I’ve always wanted to try Roller Derby but I’ve never had the confidence to actually give it a try, as it’s not something I’d rock up to on my own!
I’d recently started a new job and one of my colleagues Anne was very sporty… Surely she’d be interested.
So I sent her a message, hoping she would be. She was!
I was still really nervous, lacking social confidence around new people but Anne being there really helped.
Walking through the doors for the first time…
When we walked through the doors everyone was buzzing around helping all the newbies.
I was given skates and pads and a helmet and then someone (who I now know as Slam) helped me up off the floor and delivered me to the middle where everyone was waiting.
Having skated 4 or 5 days a week at Granby Halls as a kid until the day it closed, I thought I’ve got this!
But no I didn’t! I fell over a few times… But that was fine, it didn’t hurt thanks to the pads.
By the end of the session I was surprised by how much I’d improved in just 2 hours. Our coach Fox was amazing from start to finish. Patient and understanding and quite frankly friggin’ awesome. As was everyone there.
We finished with a race! A race! Whaaat! But no fear Candy supported me the whole way round the track!
The support offered by everyone there was amazing and from day one I felt a welcomed part of the team.
Then 8 weeks later came minimum skills benchmarking! It sounds scary but it really isn’t, “it is, what it is” I told myself and it helps you see how far you have come.
My first 25 laps in 5 minutes attempt I got 16.5. I was disappointed but again everyone said how amazing it was.
When you’re low they lift you up!
We completed our 3rd minimum skills benchmarking yesterday (14/07/19) and I got 21.5….only 6 months after joining!
It really is the best thing I’ve ever done, walking through that door on intake day. It’s literally changed my life. It gives me something to look forward to each week and my social life has gone crazy, making so many new friends. From road trips to watch other teams and games, BBQ’s, CrossFit, Game nights and lots, lots more.
It’s also great watching the other newbies progress so well. For example, Cactus has become a really good friend in such a short time. It really is like a little family.
Roller derby is really for everyone…
One thing I’ve realised is no matter, your shape, your size, your gender, your sexuality, your personality or your interests there really is a space for every single individual within Roller Derby…. You are accepted for you, just the way it should be.
I’m loving every minute and never want to it end.
Thank you to every single individual member of the dollies for just being amazing.
Also, a huge thank you to Swift (Anne) for having my back!