Want to start your roller derby journey with us? Hear from our newest skaters!

What is this roller derby thing all about? Is there a ball**… wilI I get hella sweaty…  what if I fall?

All valid questions and fears, which is why we want to talk to you today!

Meet some of our new Birds and current rookies (who we call ‘Hatchlings’) to hear how they found starting their roller derby journey with us and get some top tips along the way.

First we sat down with one of our new Birds, Katy (For The Wynne #404), to find out about their experience so far…

(**P.S. There is no ball!)

Katy smiling wearing a helmet

Hi Katy!

What inspired you to start skating with LRB?

When I saw Wood #64 play for A team, I was enamoured by the complexity, pace and strategy of roller derby. I knew I had to join LRB as all of their players possess some incredible skills on the track. When I joined Hatchies (Hatchlings), I had no idea I would ever share the same space as some of these amazing players. What I was not prepared for when joining Hatchies was the empowerment I’ve felt learning this challenging sport, being supported by those same fierce players on track and meeting life long friends.

What was it like at your first few sessions?

For me I was completely new to skating, I had skated on inlines in my teenage years for a month or two, when I joined hatchies I wanted to first try my hand at skating on my own, but realised very quickly that the coaches will help you with even the most beginner things and give you a lot of great skills to get comfortable quite quickly so don’t feel nervous if you’ve never strapped a pair of skates on, this environment is really great for that. The first few sessions are really about balance, fear of falling (you will fall a lot, it’s absolutely fine!) and basic skating skills. After you progress you will learn new things week after week.

How did you find learning new skills each week?

At first it’s a little daunting as everyone has different ways of learning and there are more than 20 ways to skin a cat so to speak, but every coach has methods of breaking down challenging skills and really helping you to get the best out of the session.  All of the coaches are really supportive and really in your corner to see you nail those early skills.

What would you say to someone who isn’t sure about joining – any top tips?

If you’re not sure, come watch a training session, try it out, talk to members of the team and current Hatchies and ask questions that will help you decide, but there’s so much you gain from learning new skills, challenging yourself and being around people who are learning with you.

Making lots of new friends is a bonus. I honestly wish everyone to experience a team sport at least once in their life – or if you’ve been in team sports before, this one is honestly the best!

And if you need further convincing, then check out some thoughts from some more of our new Birds and current Hatchlings:

Libby Sanders – current Hatchling

I joined Hatchies in August 2023. I’d hardly ever skated, and I’d never seen a game of roller derby. I had just started a 9-5 job after working shifts for years, so I wanted to make the most of having my weekends back, and build some new routines. As a queer woman in a bigger body, I’ve often felt excluded from traditional fitness spaces, but Hatchies is a space where I immediately felt welcomed and challenged. Every single skater and coach is so welcoming and supportive.

In just over three months, I’ve gone from knowing hardly anything about derby to being completely obsessed. If you’re at all considering joining, I’d urge you to take the plunge and give it a go. It’s the best thing you’ll do all year!

Imogen – new Bird

I wanted to join the Roller Birds as I was new to Liverpool and needed some motivation to improve my very limited skating skills! Little did I know when I joined the Hatchies that I would become so obsessed with the sport, or that I’d find a whole new community of likeminded people, as well as friends that I’ll keep for life. Everyone is so welcoming and I’ve learned so much already in the year I’ve been training with the league. Derby is a challenging sport, but that’s what makes it so rewarding when you gain new skills and confidence.

If you’re considering coming along but aren’t sure whether it’s for you, I’d say to absolutely go for it! The hatchies are a really supportive group, and the trainers work hard to make sure everyone is accommodated.

Gemma Dale – current Hatchling

I used go to a roller disco when I was a teenager. My skates have been in the loft ever since (several decades, if you are wondering). I always thought I would like to skate again, but hadn’t really done anything about it until I heard about the Roller Birds. I turned up for an open day without any real idea what roller derby is. I had asked one important question before attending though – was I too old for this? The answer was quickly forthcoming – no, you are not.

When I went to that open day and watch a scrim, I wasn’t really paying that much attention to the game, but was just looking at the skates. I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for – I was getting back on four wheels. A few hours later and I was deep in websites offering me skates, pads, mouth guards and helmets. I joined Hatchies a couple of weeks later and have never looked back (well, apart from when I am skating backwards which is kind of important).

I joined to skate, but found a great bunch of new friends along the way. I’ve been a Hatchie for a year now. I have learned a lot in that time, but I still have a long way to go to become a good skater, but that’s okay.

If you are wondering whether to start playing roller derby, there is only one answer: yes. I can guarantee you bruises and probably some lower back pain, but also a lot of fun, new friends, an improvement on your fitness and a whole new vocabulary (you will have to turn up to find out what a scrim is). Oh, and when there is a game, there is also usually cake. See you on track!

Join our next intake

To find out when our next intake is happening, email us for full details: hatchlings@liverpoolrollerbirds.co.uk

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