Thinking of joining us, but not quite sure about it yet? Here are some answers to stuff we hear a lot about starting roller derby.
I can’t skate. We’ll teach you. However long it takes, we’ll teach you.
I’m too old for roller derby. Probably not. We have people of all ages skating with us, from small children to 50-somethings (so far)!
I’m too fat/skinny/tall/short for roller derby. We don’t have a size or weight limit in either direction. If you’re willing to strap on skates, we’ll train you no matter your size or shape. There’s room for all bodies in roller derby.
I’m too unfit for roller derby. It’s ok. We’ll train you up. And no one will yell at you if you can’t do a push-up or skate for more than a few minutes; you’ll find your abilities get better each time you come to training. Some extra training outside of derby is highly recommended, but you can do simple exercises at home that will help you be even more awesome on skates. If you have any health conditions or concerns, talk to your doctor, physiotherapist, etc.
I don’t have good balance. If you can stand up and walk around without falling over, you can develop the skills to do it on skates. Sure, some people are zooming around three minutes after putting on skates for the first time, but our trainers will help you learn all the skills you need to skate like a derby star. We believe in you!
I don’t have time. Fresh meat training is two two-hour sessions per week. And we understand that people do have a life outside of derby and sometimes it gets in the way. We also encourage our members to volunteer to help keep the league running but this can be as simple as an extra hour here and there to help run a scrimmage.
You have a men’s derby team but I’m a woman and don’t want to do contact sports with men (or vice versa). When you get to the stage of being on a team, you can be in a men or women only team. Our all-league training is generally mixed. If you have any concerns, please talk to our trainers.
I don’t want to get injured! Injury is a risk in any physical activity. Safety is important and it’s compulsory to wear a helmet, mouth guard, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads and we show you how to fit and wear them properly. Some people also wear tailbone/hip protectors or shin guards, or visors on ice hockey type helmets. We teach you how to fall to minimise the chance of injury and we have people with first aid qualifications at every session. Your membership fee also includes injury insurance via Skate Victoria.
I’d like to skate but I don’t want to/can’t do contact. We’d love to have you as a referee! Referees train on skates with the rest of the league, and while most participate in contact drills (it can help you understand the game better), it’s not compulsory for referee training.
Where can I buy roller skates and roller derby gear in Canberra? The local roller skate shop is Eight Track Skate Co – ask them about their fresh meat deals. Sydney Derby Skates is another great place to shop for derby gear. You can also find second hand gear advertised online (there are a few Facebook roller derby gear sale pages). If you’re at all unsure about skates and other gear, email us or ask on Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to help you get set up.
What gear do I need?
- Roller skates! Derby or speed style skates are preferred to artistic/figure skates. They generally have a lower or completely flat heel and are lower cut around the ankle. With indoor wheels, because we skate inside mostly! (Outdoor wheels are usually quite soft, indoor wheels are harder.)
- A helmet. In derby we use rounded skate/derby style helmets or ice hockey helmets. Make sure it is properly safety rated for sports – many bike helmets are only designed to be impacted once.
- Wrist guards with a hard splint.
- Knee pads and elbow pads with hard caps. You’ll need to cover the caps with teflon or felt to protect our floor – we usually have this available for sale at fresh meat days.
- A mouthguard. A boil and bite one from the chemist is fine, but most skaters have A Sisu brand mouthguard as it’s much thinner (but just as protective) and allows you to breathe and drink. Other people have custom mouthguards made by their dentist.
- Other allowed gear includes padded hips and tailbone protector shorts/pants, shin and ankle guards, and some face guards.
I just don’t think skating’s for me but I want to be involved in roller derby somehow. There are lots of opportunities to help out. We rely on volunteers to keep the league running and to make bouts happen. We always need people to be non-skating officials (NSOs), for example, penalty box timers and score trackers. There are other ways to help too, such as with fundraising events. Get in contact with us and see how you can help!