Sport in the community

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Norfolk Roller Derby is a league led by over 100 volunteers (skaters and non-skaters), with 6 female, male, mixed and intraleague teams.

Due to the rising popularity of the sport (in part due to the film Whip It - which is ace, so watch it if you haven’t!) our league is continually growing. We run regular training programs for up to 30 new skaters throughout the year to introduce new skaters to this awesome high-octane sport.

It takes a lot of kit to play roller derby, as it’s a full contact sport played at high speed on roller skates. We provide new skaters with all the protection kit (helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards), which has all been donated by members of the league. But they need to provide their own skates, which can be expensive, and can potentially put people off. Who wants to spend a big chunk of money on something if they’re not even sure they’d enjoy it, or be any good at it?

We would like funding to help us purchase a set of loan skates for new skaters, so they don’t need to buy any equipment until they’ve passed the first 15 weeks of their training program. This is enough time for them to decide if roller derby is for them, without having to shell out on skates first. For quite a few new skaters, it’s enough time for them fall in love with the sport and the league, even if it’s not as a player. Many find their place as a referee or a non-skating official (NSO), who are just as important to keep the league running; without them, it’s not possible to even play the game.

But you might be asking yourself - what even is roller derby?

It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the UK - a fast-paced, full-contact sport on roller skates (sounds terrifying, but it’s really rather fun). It’s played on an oval shaped track, normally in sports halls, and has 2x 30 minute halves.

Each team has 14 players, and only 5 from each team play at a time for a jam, which can last up to 2 mins, before swapping in 5 different skaters. Each team plays 4 blockers and 1 jammer. The jammer’s job is get past the other team’s blockers - they get a point each time they pass the other team’s blockers. The blockers’ job is to stop the other team’s jammer, by getting in their way or hitting them (with butt, thighs, chest and shoulders - no arms, legs, feet or heads!)

Gameplay aside, what’s really special about this sport is that it’s notably inclusive. It’s for everyone: any shapes, sizes, age, skating abilities and sportiness are all welcome. It’s traditionally a female-led sport, but is now growing in popularity with men as well. Roller derby around the world prides itself on being inclusive. It promotes positive body image (as all shapes and sizes have their benefit on the track), and helps individuals improve their confidence. Members support and respect each other, and people who have never been sporty before, or ever considered they would have the abilities to, become valuable, skilled players who deeply respect their derby family.

For many, joining roller derby can be life-changing:
“Roller derby gets me out of bed and out of the house. It has got me travelling round the country to support my team and NSO. I have suffered from BPD for years and I see getting involved with roller derby as a big boost to my life. I have a purpose which is very good for my self-esteem.” H.P. Shovecraft #40

So the more people we can introduce to roller derby, as far as we’re concerned, the better. Norfolk Roller Derby is financially supported by league member subs, and any profits made from public games. The vast majority of our finances go towards venue hire for training sessions, new skater courses and hosting our live, public games, so any additional funding we can secure, will help us bring more budding skaters into this incredible sport, and widen our family even further.

Thanks for reading. We hope we get your vote. See you at our next game.

Norfolk Roller Derby

Project Video

Norfolk Roller Derby

Moment of Pride

Trying roller derby at 30 was scary. I hadn’t skated in 25 years! From day 1 I was welcomed & treated like family. As new skater liaison I see new skaters develop their skills & confidence each week. I’m proud to be part of something that has such a great impact on people's lives. Meaner Simone #221

Location: Norfolk, United Kingdom