I started learning to skate roughly a year ago. I had heard of roller derby before, and thought it looked like a lot of fun but couldn’t imagine ever being able to get out of my comfort zone and give it a go. I hadn’t played any sports since school, and none of those were contact sports!
Then I came to uni. One of my friends dragged me along to a beginner session. I remember being so nervous putting on the skates and feeling a little like Bambi, but you soon get used to the feeling of being on wheels.
After that first experience, I knew it would be too much fun to not continue. The coaches are SO lovely and supporting, first teaching you how to stop and fall safely. Everyone moves at their own pace in my experience; everyone has a skill they are more comfortable with from the start and a skill they struggle with a bit more, but everyone has so many tips to help you get the hang of things and there’s no time limit on picking things up.
In the session where we started doing contact, we were all so scared, thinking it would be horrific, but it isn’t half as vicious as it looks and we ended up loving it. Learning to skate and coming to sessions every week has really improved my confidence, not just on skates but in other ways too. You’ll also meet a kick ass group of people to make new friends and grow as a group (I know we have).
For now, my derby goals are to continue improving my basic skills and start taking part in rookie scrims, I can’t wait! Even if you are not sure roller derby is for you, but want to try your hand at skating, getting fit or meet new people, I would definitely recommend giving the beginner’s course a go.