The Rocky View Roller Derby Association (RVRDA) is holding its bi-annual try-it event Sept. 14 and 21 to introduce a new batch of athletes to the sport .
The event will be hosted on two evenings to give potential players more of an opportunity to see if they truly enjoy the sport.
“What we found in the past is people will miss it, so we offer two nights to catch the people that can’t make it to one night. We want to give people another opportunity to come,” RVRDA External Communications Co-ordinator Tiffany Baratta said. “Roller derby is all about being who you are. You don’t have to be a certain size or type of person. It’s for anyone wants to have fun, play a sport and not feel pressured to be a certain way.”
The event runs from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Genesis Place Recreation Centre both evenings. Interested individuals will be given an introduction to the sport, including what it costs to play, required gear, time commitment, involvement and instruction in how the sport is played.
Members of the association will take event-goers to one of Genesis’ gyms where they will get to try on some equipment, skate around and actually try the sport first hand.
“We want to give people a chance to skate and see if it is something they would like to pursue further,” Baratta said. “Roller derby is a great sport, but it is a good thing to try first before you jump in. You’ll know pretty quick once you get on skates whether it’s something you want to pursue further.”
The event is free to attend and there is no registration required – but interested individuals can inform RVRDA if they intend on taking part and disclose sizes for equipment via the team’s Facebook page.
Participants will not be able to, nor are they expected to, make the immediate jump from having not suited up for the team to competing at the highest level. Instead they will have to go through RVRDA’s Fresh Meat program which helps new skaters get accustomed to the sport, build a strong foundation and learn the ropes.
According to Baratta, the try-it event usually brings in approximately 25 people per session, with a little less than a third remaining with the sport after giving it a try. She said she would like to see similar numbers at this season’s events to help grow the team as it moves forward as an association.
“We had a great group of girls that joined in the spring, who are doing really well,” she said. “They’re moving on up so we would like to continue adding to the league. We like to introduce new people to the sport and keep a steady stream of people trying it.”