JOIN US! Fresh Meat 2016

August 16, 2016

You’ve watched all the action, and now it’s time to join in! Whether you aspire to jam, block, or ref, now’s the time to give it a shot! The Winnipeg Roller Derby League is hosting the 2016 Fresh Meat intro session on Sunday, August 21. Please email freshmeat@winnipegrollerderby.com for more information and to sign up.

Still unsure? Haven’t been on skates a whole lot? Don’t know much about the rules or strategy? No problem! Here are some stories from current skaters on how they got involved in roller derby—despite some of these same challenges—and why you should too.

What made you want to sign up for roller derby?

Menno Nightmare

Menno Nightmare jamming for the Corporation against the Valkyries’ Wrath’s Lex Go and Sourpuss

“I got a free pair of tickets from my university professor who was also a WRDL referee. It took all of 30 seconds after the first whistle for me to be completely hooked. Derby was exactly what I was looking for at the time, though I didn’t know it until I was in it–a physical challenge to fill the gap left after high school sports, an inclusive community that helped me find space to grow into myself, and a group of strong women who have become my support network on and off the track.”

Lex Go, co-captain of the Valkyries’ Wrath and skater on the WRDL All-Stars

“My co-worker invited me to come along to the info session. I was still hesitant, but started to do some research online. What tipped me over the edge was seeing all the amazing derby names. I love a good pun or play on words. Then the info session was so much fun. After that, I was hooked.”

Menno Nightmare, skater for The Corporation

 

What were your skating skills like when you signed up?

“Almost nil, as far as derby skating skills go. I could skate forwards in a circle at Wheelies. I could usually stay upright, but could only stop or slow down by hitting a wall.”

Rainbow Thrash, skater for the BackSeat Betties

“Non-existent. I had never roller skated or roller bladed, and only ice skated a handful of times when I was a kid. I’ve never done any sport and rarely got any form of exercise.” – Menno Nightmare

“Abysmal–like, really really bad. I had never been on roller skates in my life when I signed up. My brother owned roller blades, so I made a deal with myself that if I could go out on his borrowed blades every day for two weeks I would order roller skates and give derby a go. I definitely still have scars on my legs from trying to learn crossovers at midnight in gravely cul-de-sacs (wear your knee pads!) but I haven’t gone  more than a week without skating since then!” – Lex Go

Lex Go

Lex Go apex jumping with the WRDL All-Stars against Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls

How long have you been playing roller derby?

“Almost five years (yikes!). Now I’ve come full circle as one of the head trainers for the Fresh Meat program.” – Lex Go

“Since October 2014” – Rainbow Thrash

“About 9 months” – Menno Nightmare

 

How do you think you’ve improved since starting fresh meat?

“I’ve improved so much since I started. Still always working on improving, but I can definitely stop without using walls now! Also, it took me forever to get my laps, but I did it and now I get to play for reals! I can start, stop, hit, be hit, fall and get back up again. Every time I put on my skates I’m better than I was before.” – Rainbow Thrash

“In so many ways! I’m actually a decent skater now. I’m way more confident in my abilities and have developed a whole new appreciation for what my body can do and learn. I’m stronger both physically and mentally. Roller derby has even helped my anxiety get significantly better, and I’m less fearful of trying new things.” – Menno Nightmare

“As a skater or as a human? Because I’ve improved in both ways. Learning a completely new skill as an adult is a pretty crazy thing. As someone not used to failing at things, I failed HARD for my first few months of roller derby and that was a real challenge. But I kept coming to practice and going to Wheelies and reading about roller derby and watching games and being on-skates every chance I got…and eventually I got better!

I can do things now that I would have legitimately thought were impossible when I started. I’m always trying to be better and I’m grateful for my teammates for pushing me every day to find new things to fail at.” – Lex Go

What advice do you have for anyone thinking of trying out roller derby?

Rainbow Thrash

Rainbow Thrash (in rainbow gear) blocking with the BackSeat Betties.

“DO IT! Really, do it. I am an infinitely better person for having joined roller derby and I’ve seen it have that effect on thousands of other people too. Personal growth aside, I get to spend hours every week surrounded by people I love doing a thing that makes me uncontrollably happy–how many people get to say that?!” – Lex Go

“Just try the intro session! Worst case scenario, it’s not for you, no harm done. It took me awhile to actually sign up for derby, despite being interested in it for a few years, because I didn’t think it was a thing I could actually do. And don’t worry about looking silly when you’re learning new skills, it’s guaranteed that you will fall and feel like a goof at first.” – Rainbow Thrash

“Don’t let fear stand in your way. You’re stronger than you think. The community is extremely supportive and helpful, and it’s so much fun. Joining roller derby is one of the best things I’ve ever done. So if you’re curious, give it a try.” – Menno Nightmare

 

What Are You Waiting For?

If you’ve ever thought of even giving it a try, you have until Sunday, August 21 to sign up! Email us at freshmeat@winnipegrollerderby.com.

4 comments

  1. |

    I’m curious to learn more or even volunteer at an event to check things out! I was an avid roller skater at Saints portage growing up and the Winnipeg roller rink when they closed the doors. Now I’m a Professional physique competitor in my 40’s looking for something new to try!! Please contact me with more info if possible. Thank you!

    • scufflepuff
      |

      If you’re looking to try roller derby, there’s an intake every fall for new skaters – contact freshmeat@winnipegrollerderby.com for details.

  2. |

    Hey, I’m curious if fresh meat happens often. I just moved to town and am athletic and like contact sports. Curious about try outs or how to get on a team

    • Freaky Deaky
      |

      Hi Chelsea, we only run Fresh Meat for brand new skaters once a year during our off season. Unfortunately this round has already started but please contact freshmeat@winnipegrollerderby.com for more information!

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