Meeting Preston Roller Derby as the team gets set to welcome new skaters

Posted on - 9th June, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, People, Preston News, Sport, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Preston Roller Derby is recruiting. Pic Lisa Brown Photography
Preston Roller Derby is recruiting Pic: Lisa Brown Photography

If you are looking for a new hobby to keep fit, Preston Roller Derby is recruiting! Established 13 years ago, Preston Roller Derby is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is looking to take part in a fun, friendly sport. Beginners, including people who have never skated before, are welcome to attend their next intake day in Preston on Sunday 23 June. We went along to find out more.

Tell us a bit about Preston Roller Derby, how long has it been established? 

The league was established as Preston Roller Girls originally, and was a women’s only team in 2010. We recently celebrated our 13th birthday as a league! Over the years, we developed into an inclusive league, open to everyone over the age of 18+ regardless of gender and in 2019 we announced our name change to Preston Roller Derby, to reflect our league members and core values. 

Preston Roller Derby welcomes people who are new to skating or who haven't skated in a long time. Pic Lisa Brown Photography
Preston Roller Derby welcomes people who are new to skating or who haven’t skated in a long time Pic: Lisa Brown Photography

How is the sport played?

Roller derby is played on a flat, oval-shaped track with five skaters per side on the track at a time. There is one skater per team wearing a star on their helmet (called the jammer) who scores points by passing members of the opposing team. This video What is Roller Derby? provides a great, brief explanation about how to play. 

Can anyone get involved?

Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome at Preston Roller Derby. Some teams also have a junior team for under 18s. 

Can beginner skaters take part?

There is a 12-week beginners course designed to teach new members how to skate, but through a roller derby lens. Many of our members had never skated before or haven’t skated since they were kids. 

Do you need any special kit or is it provided?

We require all skaters to wear quad skates, a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads any time they are on skates. Mouthguards are also required for any contact, since this is a full-contact sport. We loan all this kit out to skaters for as long as they need. Except for mouthguards, they are yours to keep!

Preston Roller Derby is great for teamwork and building confidence. Pic Lisa Brown Photography
Preston Roller Derby is great for teamwork and building confidence Pic: Lisa Brown Photography

What happens on your first session?

The first session is our intake day! Our next intake day is Sunday 23 June at 1pm. Members of the team greet new skaters and help to fit all kit they are borrowing from the team.

Once everyone has their kit, we do an off-skates warm-up then the coaches get everyone to put their skates on and we start skating. We go through the basics of skating and then perform a demonstration of the sport of roller derby.

Afterwards, the new skaters have a chance to skate around with members of the team and get to know everyone and ask any questions. 

How do you develop your skills?

The beginners’ course is structured to teach key basics of skating and then the intermediate course goes into more detail on these basics as well as introducing more advanced movements and drills. Our fantastic coaching group also provides 1-to-1 guidance and feedback on how to improve technique on skills during training sessions. Beginner and intermediate skaters are always welcome to stick around during the Sunday advanced session and improve their skills individually too.

What is roller derby good for?

Roller derby is great for many things. There are many skaters who are not interested in typical team sports who find a great community in roller derby. It is also a great, fun workout every time you skate. It teaches teamwork and helps a lot of people find confidence in other aspects of their lives too.

Preston Roller Derby runs a twelve week beginners course. Pic Lisa Brown Photography
Preston Roller Derby runs a twelve week beginners course Pic: Lisa Brown Photography

Do you need a ‘name’ and tell us about some of the team names?

You don’t need a derby name to join the team. Many of our skaters like to incorporate their first name when they choose their derby name such as Killa Jules, M.I.A., BombBee, and To The Power of Meg. Other skaters like to choose derby names that relate to their hobbies or other reasons such as Pin Crush’em, Scrim Fandango, River Slam or U-Turn. I personally chose the name Atomic Bombshell because I am a scientist and wanted a scientific name. Some people come with a name chosen, others take their time making a choice. It also took me over a year to choose my name! The only rule about a derby name is that it cannot be the same as another skater in any team. 

As you advance is there the opportunity to compete?

The team is currently going through a rebuild, so we don’t compete as a team yet. However, there are many games – we call these scrims – going on in other teams that individuals can sign up for and compete that way.

What teams do you play?

There are several teams in Manchester, Liverpool, the Wirral, York, Barrow, Blackpool and many others all over the north of England. Many of these teams host open scrims where skaters from any team can play. 

Are you in a league?

We are not a competitive team – yet! However, when we are able to compete the league all teams compete in is called Five Nations Roller Derby.

When do you train and where? 

We train twice a week in Fulwood, with sessions for all skill levels. The hall is rented for five hours a week, with training happening on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evenings, and this time is divided into beginners, intermediates and advanced, with some time available for skaters to practise skills around their specific training times.

Preston Roller Derby’s intake day is Sunday 23 June at 1pm. For further details and to sign up, complete the intake day form and contact You can also follow Preston Roller Derby on Facebook and Instagram.

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