But… do I have what it takes?

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You certainly do! We provide a supportive, encouraging and positive environment for you to succeed at your own pace. You’ll have fun, make friends, get fit and can be fierce recreationally or whilst conquering at a state/national level.

“It wasn’t until week four that I started to get it. The reason that derby gets its hooks into you and becomes such an all-encompassing passion for so many. In week four we started doing sprints – and for the first time I stopped being terrified of falling hard on my arse and started enjoying the feeling of flying around the track with wheels on my feet and a huge smile on my face. Of course, shortly after I did fall hard on my arse. But no matter. I was hooked.

I went to a bout (Breakers v Charmers) ages ago on a whim with a few friends. One of the friendly girls with an “Ask Me!” sign patiently explained the rules and what was going on on the track, and she encouraged me to come to the next freshie intake. I protested that I was very unfit and hadn’t been on skates in a decade and a half, when I used to Rollerblade along the Hudson at 15. She assured me many freshies were teetery on their skates at first, and as for getting fit, well – “derby will make you fit!”.

My first freshie session made it clear that I had lost any skating ability I’d ever had (also could be because I’d never been on quads before). I tottered along at a snail’s pace, trying to keep up with my fellow freshies in beginners’ drills and trying to say sibilants in names like Fizgig and Crash around an unfamiliar mouthguard. Harmin’ Miranda told us we would be cursing her name the following day as we practised derby stance and tried to get our quads to behave. She was right about that, and about a great many things.

I was – and still am – the weakest freshie in my intake. My skating was appalling, and I had very little off-skates fitness. Those two things are still largely true, and at first I was quite disheartened to see the other girls picking up skills much faster than I could. But having met members at all levels, I’ve realised there is no right pace to learn. Some people take longer than others, and that’s fine. You can only compare yourself to yourself – and in those stakes, five-week-on me can wipe the floor with first-session me. I won’t test for red star this time round, but maybe in another six weeks I’ll be ready. And in the meantime, when I conquer my fear of falling, I can just about fly.”

Cass/Brooklyn Dodgeher – Freshie Intake April 2014, Now a member of the Banshees

So when are you going to join us?

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