As anyone who has seen the 2009 smash hit film Whip It starring Drew Barrymore, roller derby is an incredibly violent, unruly sport run by scores of scary women with multicoloured hair and bad attitudes. Right? Wrong! Whilst the film did an incredible job of raising the profile of roller derby, particularly amongst the younger generation, it also did a good job of spreading a number of untruths about the sport. Yes, incidentally, it is a sport.
Of course, because it has been promoted as a bit 'naughty' this has captured the imaginations of many little darlings world over who are now raring to go and sign up to their local team. This of course is great news for roller derby but how about for the parents? Is roller derby really a suitable sport for children and young people to be partaking in? Isn't dangerous and filled with alcohol fuelled parties and other such worries? With some facts from the track, hopefully these questions can be answered.
What Is It?
Junior roller derby is a fast paced sport played on a flat oval track with all players on quad roller skates. It has been adapted from a full contact adult sport in the same way that touch rugby is a more child friendly version of the full contact sport rugby. So rest assured that this sport is as safe to play as any other team sports your child may be interested in such as football.
The first junior league was started way back in 2006 by young fans of Tuscon Roller Derby adult league. They had their first demonstration bout in 2007 in front of a national audience and since then the Junior leagues have gone from strength to strength, popping up all over the USA and with an affiliate branch in the UK too. With the motto 'Bold, Confident United,' you can feel assured that your little ones are in good hands that are working towards creating wholesome ideals, attitudes and values.
It is quite often the parental support of juniors that makes or breaks a potential league so it is important to support your children any way that you can. Maybe this means, simply turning up and cheering them along, purchasing specialist safety equipment like pads, mouth guards and helmets from approved stores such as online retailers The Skate Hut or even getting trained up to become a referee. It could be an exciting adventure into unknown territory for the whole family.