Fresh Meat to Fully Fledged Bird

So, you have seen the film Whip it.
You have watched a bit of Roller Derby on You Tube.
You have seen some of the crazy outfits some of us choose to wear, and you have been trying to squeeze your feet in to your kids roller boots to see if you can skate, or at least stand up in them.
Well now is the time to take the next step.
Now is the time for you to become FRESH MEAT.
There is really no need to be shy, we don’t bite, but we may hip check you a little!!


Fresh meat is a term used in roller derby for a new skater. All it means is that you are new to the sport and probably will need to learn the basics.
Yes, some of you may have skating ability, but in order to become a bout worthy derby girl, you need to pass your minimum skill set (more on that another time).
Don’t panic, we will teach you everything you need to know, in fact, you don’t need to even know how to skate to start with us.
At first you may think “I’ll never be able to do that”, but with regular attendance ,practice and a little snippet of determination, you will see yourself transform in to a competent skater, who in time will be knocking girls down, left , right and centre (that’s the real fun part if you ask me).

So, to give you an idea of this magical transformation I hand you over to one of our Brand New Birds “Bobby Mean” to tell you all about her journey.

Image“Yep, this is going to be one of those OMG ROLLER DERBY IS AMAZING type stories. Just so you’re warned!

So in September 2012 I started with LRB as a Hatchling (that’s what we call the fresh meat, there’s a bird theme, geddit??) I’m a mum to a crazy 4 year old and married to a wonderful bearded dude. I go to uni in an attempt to become an amazing scientist and I work part time as a call centre bore for the tax office. I love music and going to gigs with the husband, tattoos, reading, spending time with family.

It really hasn’t been that long since I started and so far, I am in love. I had decided to give Roller Derby a go earlier in the year along with my childhood friend, who I’d known since I was 5. We grew up together and we skated together as kids (my skates were blue lovelies with rainbows on, handed down from my sisters) and always had awesome memories of whizzing down the street together. So we decided to go for it along with two other lovely ladies who I knew. I’d never played a team sport and nothing else appealed to me, I really liked the idea of skating and a contact sport on skates seemed perfect.

My main fears of starting Roller Derby were instantly dismissed when I started. My fears were:

1 – I was too old. I’m not old, I know, I’m 32. But joining a team sport at this age feels a bit strange. One of the first people I spoke to at the open evening was 40. No worries there and the other ladies I know who started at the same time are the same age as me (club 32 woo hoo!)

2 – I’m too fat. Again, not the most giant of ladies but I’m what you’d call a ‘big girl’ which I’ve learned means nothing in derby. Of course being big can have it’s advantages when you’re trying to stop people, shove em and generally just get in their way, size really isn’t an issue. It has given me the prod I needed to keep my fitness up too.

3 – I won’t fit in – that just aint no thing. My most favorite thing about derby (apart from the actual skating bits) is the variety and diversity of people who do the sport. I love that although I may look like the stereotypical derby loving lady, there is every type of woman you could think of and they are all equally lovely and welcoming. It’s also meant that I see my oldest friend more often and reconnected with those people you know and like but just don’t get the chance to see much, meaning I’ve got new mates.

I’m just passed minimum skills – which is a bit like the cycling proficiency test of roller derby. You have to be able to demonstrate you’re ready for the track, you’re safe and you fit the bill. When you first start skating, passing your minimums is the goal and it’s a bit daunting but the help and support from your coaches and your fellow newbies is amazing and you make firm friends very quickly.

My advice to anyone thinking about derby is DO IT!! You’ll not regret it 🙂


So there you go, no matter what shape, size, colour,  cake loving, biscuit baking, knitting lover, boxing babe, mummy, wifey, cardi wearing, punk rocking, tattoo toting, pierced all over, whatever you are, you are just you and we accept everyone.

JOIN US….you know you want to!!!


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  1. Congratulations on passing your minimums! I’ve just signed up for Fresh Meat with the Auld Reekie Roller Girls and cannot wait. Love that you share your fears, I’m kinda the same (and I’m 32!), but having been along to some bouts and it seems like such a wonderful community, I love the fact it’s so diverse, and everyone’s welcome. Good luck with it all 🙂

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