Rojen is our new Community Builder here at Rollerland🤩 Rojen (she/they) has been a constant and colourful presence at Rolla YVR since we first opened our Rollerland facility in December. We are so excited to be working with her to further our collective goals of creating an Empowered Community of Strong Skaters
My name is Rojen and I also go by loudgurl – often living up to that name with my loud, vibrant personality! I live, work, and play on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, also known as Vancouver, and have recently been inspired to focus my energy on the parts of my life that inspire happiness. If there is one thing I have truly learned and understood in the last two years of the pandemic, it is the importance, power, and necessity of our local and global communities. Being isolated and longing for a change, I had a lot of time to reflect on my role in my own community. I wanted to make a meaningful and lasting impact for myself and others, not just through the pandemic, but for many years to come. This catalyst for change came in the most peculiar of ways: A pair of brand-new purple roller skates. I am an intermediate roller skater, spending most of my time at the skateparks and slowly progressing, having learned during the pandemic. Roller skating brought me a lot of peace and community during some of the most uncertain and traumatic times of the last two years, and I am grateful to the power of wheeled shoes in keeping me whole through it all. I am one of the founders of the East Van Skate Crows, a local skate park roller skating project here in Vancity. I enjoy documenting our local park scene through the East Van Skate Crows, showing our diverse community proudly taking up space in the skate parks, and giving back to the community in a variety of important ways. I see the big-picture vision of a more inclusive and impactful community, one that would include the needs and views of underrepresented groups of people when collaborating with the city and other community groups. I am also a dancer in the local Vancouver dance community, having amassed self-love, body confidence, and a sense of belonging over my years of dancing, and I enjoy sharing the joy and confidence that movement and community in all forms brings with others.
Check out Rojen skating skills and at the skate park in the videos below!
Where were you born?
Born in Vancouver and grew up in North Van!
When did you start working at Rolla?
December 2021, just as Rollerland opened!
When did you start rollerskating?
April 28, 2020!
What do you love the most about rollerskating?
I absolutely love the freedom and confidence rollerskating gives you to be your most authentic self. I always feel like I can pull up to a skate space on my rollerskates as my most LOUDGURL self, and my skates further empower me to do so. It has challenged me in ways I never thought possible – pushing me to try things and work on movements that have made me reconsider what my body is capable of, and truly has given me so much body confidence. I helped put together a group of amazing new skaters at the peak of the pandemic, and we go by @EastVanSkateCrows – you will often find us kicking ass and holding space for each other at the skateparks. The community of incredible people and skaters I have found through skating has helped keep me committed when mental blocks have been especially difficult, and I am forever grateful for everyone I’ve met along the way. And through my role as Community Builder, I love facilitating that sense of belonging for other skaters. Rollerskating feeds my inner child and has made me a happier adult.
What’s your favorite skating move right now?
You’ll usually find me at the skateparks! I’m addicted to coping tricks and learning 5050s right now in the skatepark! And sliding floor moves on the rink!
What is your skate setup right now?
Currently, I’m riding my purple Beach Bunny Moxi skates (my first ever sk8s!) with wide XOXO trucks, @Wildbonesofficial sliders, and the Estrojen Bowl Bomber wheels – my current park setup until new skates arrive! People often know it’s me because of my all-purple everything💜!
Tell us something random and non-rollerskating about you
Ooooh what should I share? I have my degree in Criminology and have worked in Criminal Justice for many, many years! :’) I am a huuuge Amy Winehouse fan and got a tattoo of her when I was 27! Something I love sharing is my background! I am the first generation child of Immigrants – half Iranian and half Kurdish-Syrian and extremely proud of where my family comes from. Farsi was my first language and I love meeting other SWANA skaters that can relate to my story.
Share a good book, podcast or Netflix show
Honestly, I’m just going to recommend my favourite show of all time, if you haven’t seen it – you gotta! The show LOST. It was groundbreaking television at its time and I love the character development and storylines.