The Curfew Skate Crew – Junior Roller Derby League
From guardian Emma Thomson:
On a Saturday I make the journey back to my home county of Berkshire to coach girls aged 11-17 in a sport you’ve probably never heard of. Roller Derby is a competitive sport on roller skates where two teams of girls race around a track with one of them scoring points on every member of the opposition she passes while the others try to prevent this from happening. The sport’s popularity is ever on the increase and the love for this high adrenaline, eight-wheeled activity has now spread to youths across the country.
I am lucky enough to volunteer doing something I love, and teach a sport that I am so passionate about to others. The Curfew Skate Crew is important because it opens its doors to teenage girls, some of which previously had no interest in sport, and allows them be part of an amazing group of young women and get fit doing something fun that doesn’t feel like exercise. Roller derby is an incredible confidence and self-esteem booster, giving people the chance to ‘be their own hero’, to quote the movie Whip It.
I have found the younger the skaters, the easier they take to being on wheels. Fear of falling is what holds back progress with a lot of the adults, even though we wear all the protective gear, helmets, knee pads and mouth guards etc, but these girls just get stuck in! Their need for speed makes them push themselves faster than their legs will allow, like baby deer with flailing limbs, inevitable they will fall, but a good motto I heard when I was learning to skate is ‘if you fall, it just means you’re trying’. We could all be ‘wall-clingers’ but the ones that progress the quickest are the ones that aren’t afraid and I’m really looking forward to seeing these fearless girls become amazing skaters and I’m glad I will get to be a part of it.