Roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and there has never been a better time to strap on some skates and learn to play with Wales’ #1 team the Tiger Bay Brawlers. An inclusive WFTDA (women’s flat track derby) league, Tiger Bay have 8 week courses which help teach learners everything from putting on kit to playing your first game!
But don’t just take our word for it, here are some of the inspiring stories from our previous Learn To Skate course skaters!
1. It’s great for your mental health, as well as your physical health!
‘For me, it was half a social thing, and half a kick up the bum to do something that would give me a sense of achievement. I knew I liked roller skating when I was a kid and I thought that it would help me with my social and generalised anxiety. It has helped because it’s shown me that I can smash through any wall that anxiety throws up, even if I fall over and cry a lot in the process. I’ll still drive home feeling that I’ve done something that I didn’t think I could do.’ – Bethan L.
- You’ll be challenged… and you’ll love it!
‘Having skated on and off for a few years (more off than on if I’m honest!) I joined the Brawlers when I moved to Cardiff. There’s very little that feels more daunting than turning up to a room of people you don’t know to do something you’re not very good at, but I was immediately made to feel at home by the coaches and the other skaters. Everyone is really welcoming and we all do our best to help others out and challenge each other.
Skating leaves me achy and bruised, and makes me sweat more than I thought possible, but I always leave happier than when I went in!’ – Faye D.
- It’s for everyone, no matter what age or size!
‘I’ve wanted to do this since watching Whip It. Came to see a game and I was hooked. Had to wait a few years due to having a baby but had to have a go. I had little skating experience and it was daunting at first but I have made an awesome bunch of friends and always come home grinning after training. It was something to give me back my identity after becoming a parent for the first time and having time for me and I thoroughly enjoy it. My age did worry me a bit (41) but it’s never been an issue, neither has my ‘plush’ figure.’ – Johanna T.
- It’s a fun way to stay fit and make friends!
‘When I moved to Cardiff last year I didn’t know anyone, and I’ve never been someone who would venture into a gym, and so I thought coming along to learn to skate class would both force me to interact and meet new people along with being a fun way to exercise. I never imagined that I would gain such confidence from it to be able to learn new skills and join a team. I have met some amazing people and have a completely different outlook on sport.’ – Charlie B.
- You become more confident
‘I’d always wanted to try it but just dismissed it as something that I wouldn’t be able to do. I’m pretty much scared of everything and struggle with dyspraxia which makes learning and general comprehension quite difficult. Then randomly last year when drunk I bought some second hand skates, looked up local teams and hit the park. LTS has been amazing for my confidence.’ – Helen Anne R.
- You become part of an amazing team of strong people
‘I had never even heard of roller derby a year ago (I guess Whip It passed me by!!) But now I’m so glad to have it in my life. I can’t even remember what I was worried about to start with, apart from the embarrassment of falling over, which I now find quite fun, and the worry of injury, but so far so good! It makes me want to train off skates too so i can be stronger and have more stamina to do fun stuff on track! Also, the people make it for me – I don’t know where I’d have meet such diverse, wonderful, positive and inspiring people otherwise. There’s no one I’ve met that I haven’t learnt something from.’ – Nerys W.
If you’re interested in joining the Tiger Bay Brawlers next Learn to Skate course starting in August, join our facebook group to find out more about the course, borrow kit if you don’t own skates, and become part of the team!
See you on track!