Club ready to rock’n’roll as City partnership sees Albany Roller Derby League back in action

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Roller Derby League’s Lowanna Singleton, Alyce Southwood, Natalie Jarvis, Hazel Mitchell and Tegan Stoney.
Camera IconAlbany Roller Derby League’s Lowanna Singleton, Alyce Southwood, Natalie Jarvis, Hazel Mitchell and Tegan Stoney. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The Albany Roller Derby League is back on its feet this week at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre after three months in limbo while searching for a new venue.

When COVID-19 put the brakes on roller derby competitions across the State it dried up revenue for the local volunteer-led club, meaning it could no longer pay the rent for the purpose-built Gledhow venue known as The Track.

The team have been staying active and connected by skating around local parks and trying out other sports such as dancing and dragon boating since moving out of their venue at the end of April.

President Natalie Jarvis said after securing a partnership with the City of Albany the league would be back in action for the first time this week at ALAC.

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“It was really great to read the City of Albany’s community scorecard report, and in that the community said that they wanted to see roller derby and roller skating back in the community,” she said. “We started from there and had a really great conversation about how the City could better support Albany roller derby and we could work together to make Albany roller skating come back.”

The league prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse sporting club, open to new members all-year round.

The group’s Skate Like a Girl program for girls, female-identifying and non-binary 12-17-year-olds will resume on Thursday nights at 6pm and has already filled all 20 spots for this term.

Adults wanting to learn to skate can join in roller derby and learn to skate nights on Thursdays from 7pm for the next 10 weeks.

“Everyone is just really pumped to be skating again and to be skating together,” Ms Jarvis said.

“Really it is about having fun and friendship and being really active.

“Because we are rebuilding, we are really encouraging people to just come and have a try.

“So adults who want to learn to roller skate, come along, it’s $15, skates, gear, everything provided ... our coaches can give you one-on-one instruction and you can come down and have a go.”

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