Roll Strong Together
We all know that strapping on a pair of rollerskates is guaranteed to make you smile. But we’re going deeper than that. Rolla Skate Club is an empowered community of strong skaters.
- Be Big and Take Up Space – On your rollerskates and in your life.
- Falling is part of Learning – Celebrate taking on new challenges at any age.
- Roll Strong Together – Feel strong and connected to your community.
- Leadership First – Lift up others and champion diversity in all spaces.
So grab your skates and come join us!
From an early age Lucy was drawn to a life on eight wheels. “Growing up in London, England I was a lot smaller than other kids my age so I was teased quite a bit at school. To me, being on skates was a way to escape that negativity and it was something physical I could be good at regardless of my size.”
Fast forward 10 years to Vancouver, Canada and Lucy was struggling to make meaningful connections in her new city. “You get to a certain age and everyone already has their ‘groups,’ the people they hang out with. I didn’t really connect with the people I was working with so as a new immigrant and a woman in my mid-twenties I was definitely searching for like-minded people. I spent a lot of time skating round the seawall on my own!”
It was during one of those skates that Lucy stumbled across the newly-formed Terminal City Rollergirls, one of the first roller derby leagues in North America. “From the very first meeting I was blown away! They were this awe-inspiring group of fearless women, doing a crazy new sport and building an incredible world-wide community. I’d finally found a place where I felt like I fit in.” Lucy joined up on the spot, took on the derby name Luludemon and went on to compete with Team Canada at the first Roller Derby World Cup.
“Being on roller-skates makes me feel like a super-hero! It has brought so many incredible, inspiring people into my life and made me the fittest I’ve ever been at age 35. Skating reminds me that it doesn’t matter how many times I fall down, because I can always find a way to get back up again.”
Being active has been Carla’s passion since her days of ballet and field hockey as a child. “At University I tried out for the rowing team on a whim. Turns out I loved the camaraderie of the team, and how we had to overcome our physical barriers every single day at practice, together.” But eventually a serious back injury and demanding course load in architecture school meant the end of rowing.
Jump ahead to living in Boston in her twenties. Carla saw a flyer for the Team In Training running charity. “I like a challenge…” she thought, and (not a natural runner) soon found herself training for a marathon, just to see if she could. “Along the way I fell in with a kick-ass group of like-minded women who were also trying something new. Hundreds of hours pounding the pavement meant we got to know each other very well!”
Next stop: Vancouver. New to the city and looking to connect and continue to challenge herself, Carla found the Terminal City Rollergirls in 2007. A decade-plus later, she’s still coaching and playing the sport. She even gave up an award-winning career as an architect to focus on fitness training for derby athletes with her previous venture, Roller Derby Athletics, under her former derby name “Booty Quake.” “I’m obviously drawn to the team aspect of sports. The bonds between friends are always strongest when you’ve had to overcome physical and mental challenges together. Roller Derby has never stopped challenging me, and it has forged a community of confident, inspiring women who are family to me. I’ve made the friendships of a lifetime.”
Carla Smith and Lucy Croysdill are Co-Founders of the Girls on Track Foundation. A not-for-profit whose mission is to foster important life skills in teenage girls, through participation in roller derby as skaters and decision makers.
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