Before you can play roller derby, you have to be able to perform a series of Minimum Skills and pass an online rules test. New skaters join our Carbonites training programme, which we recruit to twice a year so that you can start at the same time as other new skaters and learn together.
We are a WFTDA-affiliated league, meaning we welcome self-identifying women and non-binary and gender non-conforming people who are comfortable skating under the banner of ‘women’s roller derby’. You must be over 18 to join our adult league – please see our Juniors team for skaters aged 8-17.
We love our sport and want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to try it. With that in mind, we believe in being upfront about the demands that come along with roller derby.
To join our new skater programme, you need to have a basic skating ability, meaning that you can stay upright on quad skates, and skate forwards without support. If you haven’t skated in a while, Skate Central is a great place to get your skating legs again, while the Simply Skate Area in Rotherham offers adult skating lessons for complete beginners.
We don’t offer beginner’s skating or one-to-one coaching at this time, so please only sign up for the new skater programme once you feel confident in your basic skating ability.
Roller derby is a very physically demanding sport – just watch some footage to see what we mean. Our new skater training sessions run for 90 minutes at a time, the majority of which will be spent in full gear, learning skills including standing on one foot for 30 seconds, falling, stopping, jumping over obstacles, skating 27 laps in 5 minutes, and taking and giving full body hits.
It is also a mentally demanding sport. There is the noise of wheels and whistles and shouts. There are all the rules to learn. There are the blows to your confidence when you just can’t nail a skill.
You will get sweaty. You will get hot. You will feel like jelly. You will get frustrated. You will fall over – a lot. And if you can put in the time, effort, and bruises… You will get fitter. You will get faster. You will get stronger. You will get more resilient. You will laugh – a lot.
Please remember: before signing up to our new skater programme you should consider consulting your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition, are recovering from any injury, are taking medication, or have related concerns.
Probably the most important factor to consider before signing up to roller derby is not how fit you are, but how hard you are willing to work. Our new skater training is twice a week, with opportunities for independent skating and off-skates fitness throughout the week. Unless you have a background in skating and/or contact sports, you should be prepared to spend at least 6 months working towards passing your minimum skills, with many new skaters taking a year or more to reach gameplay level. And, once you pass your minimum skills, you’ll need an attendance level of at least 50% to skate for the B Team, and 65% for the A Team. There are no shortcuts: if you want to play roller derby, you need to put in the work.
Some skaters decide that actually, playing roller derby isn’t for them. And that’s okay! We have lots of other opportunities to get involved.
When is training?
All our training sessions are held at Skate Central, 1 Queens Road, Sheffield, S2 4DF. New skater training sessions are held on:
- Wednesdays, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
- Sundays, 4:15pm – 5:45pm
What kit do I need?
You need all of the following kit to take part:
- Quad skates
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
- Wrist guards
- Mouth guard
When you sign up to one of our recruitment events, you can hire loan kit (subject to availability) for your first 4 weeks.
How much does it cost?
Your first session is free; after that it’s £6 per session for the first 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, if you’d like to keep skating, you can join us as a full member and pay monthly dues. Standard dues are £35 a month, with reduced dues are available for various circumstances.