New Skater Training
We are pleased to announce that our New Skater (or "Fresh Meat Bootcamp") Training Program will be on Mondays, 6:15 - 7:45 pm, for skaters 18 years of age and up, starting on Monday, April 9. Training takes place over 15 weeks: April 9 – July 30 (skipping Victoria Day and Canada Day).
We welcome women and gender neutral skaters of all fitness levels and referees of any gender.
Fresh Meat Bootcamp
Sign up now and start enjoying all the health benefits that come from playing roller derby.
- Improves cardio and respiratory endurance
- Improves balance and coordination
- Helps build a healthy heart
- Burns over 450 calories an hour
- Builds muscle strength
- Improves mental health
- Relieves stress
- Boosts self confidence
Join the sisterhood that is flat track roller derby today!!
What is the cost of Training?
Fresh Meat dues are $50 a month for skaters (April - July), or $150 up front for all 15 weeks, plus $50 for the year for Skater Insurance through the Canadian Roller Derby Insurance (CRDI). Referees are considered volunteers and can participate in Fresh Meat Training and Officiating Training for free, but still require skater insurance.
When does the training program take place?
Training takes place from 6:15-7:45pm on Mondays starting on April 9.
- 6:15-6:30 Off-Skates warmup & Gear up
- 6:30-7:30 Track time
- 7:30-7:45 Cool down & stretch
Sideline Skating at our other practices is recommended to help develop the skills you are taught on Mondays, and you will also be encouraged to participate in drills during our Intermediate practices after you've learned the basics of skating in the Fresh Meat Program.
- Intermediate level practices take place on Tuesdays, April to October, and Wednesdays, October to April, 7-9pm.
- Advanced level practices take place on Thursdays year round, 7-9pm
How do I sign up?
The easy way to sign up is to fill out our Online Membership Form. You can also fill out the paperwork at your first class (but please come a little early to give yourself time).
Where does the training program take place?
Allison Memorial Arena at 49 Nelson Street West (between Church & Paris) in downtown Alliston.
What do I need in order to train?
We have some used gear available to for skaters who want to try it out before investing in the gear. We have lots of safety gear available, but spare skates are harder to come by, and we only have limited sizes. Please let us know if you'd like to borrow anything to get started when you sign up, and we will try to find items to fit you. Sorry, but we cannot lend mouth guards (for obvious reasons).
Here's everything you'll need to have before you can practice:
- Quad Skates: We recommend being fitted for these by a skate shop professional. If buying online, make sure you can return them if they don’t fit properly.
- Helmets: must be snug on your head, and made for multiple impacts. They can be found at skate shops or local sports stores. We recommend the S1 "Lifer", Technical Safety Gear (TSG), or Nutcase derby helmets, or any kind of hockey helmet.
- Elbow Pads, Wrist Guards and Knee Pads are a must. Pads should fit snugly to avoid slipping. Triple 8, Scabs, ProDesigned, and 187s are the common brands.
- Mouth Guards (boil and bite) can be found at local sports stores, ranging from $5 to $30. Derby Shops sell the popular Sisu sports mouth guards in a range of colours, or talk to your dentist about getting a custom fitted one. (Mouth Guards are not required for referees.)
- Whistles: (required only for referees). The Fox 40 Classic is the standard whistle used in roller derby. A Cushioned Mouth Grip is recommended for comfort.
- Outdoor wheels and bearings to go with them. (approx $35 for wheels, $30 for bearings).
- A Reflex Utilitool, which makes it faster to trade off your indoor/outdoor wheels. (approx $35)
- Knee pad gaskets. They protect your knees with extra padding and the Velcro helps hold your knee pads in place. (approx $40).
- Reversible scrimmage shirt with name and number on both sides. (approx $45)
- Metal plates with locking toestops, such as Powerdyne Rivals, Suregrip Avengers, or Luigino Falcons. Much more sturdy than nylon, these are made for skaters over 175 pounds, or for skaters who weigh less but skate hard, and locking toestops are essential to prevent loss of toestops during skating. (approx $100-$200 for those listed).
Where to get gear:
- Rumbling Rage (Barrie)
- Neon Skates (Ottawa)
- Roller Girl (Vancouver)
- Rollerskatin.ca Skate Shop (Woodstock)
- Some safety gear can also be found locally at various sports stores – Canadian Tire, SportChek, etc. You might want to call ahead to see if they’ve got what you need.
All derby shops offer Fresh Meat packages, which include all gear (except a mouth guard, in some cases), for between $300 and $500, depending mostly on the price of the skates chosen. We highly recommend checking return policies in case you need to trade something in because it's not right for you or doesn't fit right.
What will I learn during Fresh Meat Training?
Even if you’ve never tried on skates before, you will learn how to skate, stop properly and fall safely. You’ll learn fancy footwork like gliding and weaving on one foot, and changing from a forward direction to a backward direction. You'll learn how to balance, how to hop over obstacles, and how to improve your stride for speed. You'll learn about basic strategy and about the rules of flat track roller derby.
What you'll learn as a Skater:
You’ll find out how to deliver a powerful hit, how to take one, and how to counter hit. You'll learn how to give a whip and push/pull someone around the track. You’ll learn to work with your teammates and skate in a pack as well as how to navigate through it. You'll learn how to cross the track quickly, how to lean an opponent out of bounds, and how to deal with unexpected obstacles. Basically, you’ll learn all the skills you need to pass the WFTDA Minimum Skill Requirements so that you are qualified to start playing roller derby with a team. Most importantly, you’ll learn how capable you are of kicking ass, and having fun while doing it!
What you'll learn as a Referee:
You’ll learn how to interpret the rules, and to apply to them to game play happening on the track. You'll practice the hand signals and verbal cues used to issue a penalty, and learn how to blow a whistle properly as part of a referee crew. You'll learn about the Officiating Standardized Practices and the referee positions such as Head Referee, Inside and Outside Pack Referees, and Jam Referees. You'll learn how to work with Non-Skating Officials, to how share data with them during games. Basically, you'll learn all the skills needed to start officiating at scrimmages and games, and gain the confidence necessary to be part of the awesomeness that is Team Zebra!
What if I don’t know how to skate?
Just because you can’t skate yet, doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to play roller derby! Our training program is designed for skaters of all levels, and we start out covering the absolute basics, from gliding forward, to stopping, to falling safely, and after just a few weeks, you may be surprised at how well you’re doing. (Please note, we encourage beginning skaters to attend as many sessions as possible.) You can also practice on your own to work on your basic skills if you want to improve even faster.
What happens during training?
You'll practice doing skills and drills that build on what you've learned so far. You'll be expected to try hard and to never say "I can't" unless it's followed by "yet." You'll be offered advice and support from veteran skaters. You'll have homework that involves reading the WFTDA Rules, doing take home quizes, and watching roller derby videos. You'll have opportunities to volunteer to help at home games to give you a deeper understanding of the sport and its rules.
As you progress, you'll work your way through the WFTDA Minimum Skill Requirement (MSR) test. The MSRs are designed to make sure that you have the skills needed to play roller derby safely.
Fresh Meat Skaters usually complete the MSRs in the 15 weeks, but it can take longer, mostly depending on sports or skating background, fitness level, and dedication to training. There is no time limit to finish the testing however, and skaters can continue to progress after their Fresh Meat Program ends by participating at Intermediate practices, and sideline skating during Advanced practices.
What happens after training?
Once you have completed the training and finished your testing, you will be able to start playing roller derby in public games and formal scrimmages. You will start out as a member of the Bombshell Battalion, our "B" Team, and you will be given the opportunity to try out for our Charter ("A") Team: the Striking Vikings if an when you decide you are ready.
We hold 2-3 practices a week in Alliston, with frequent scrimmages and bouts, both home and away.
Regular league dues are $50 per month, and Regular Skater Insurance coverage costs $50 for the calendar year (or $30 for the last half of the year, if purchased after July 1).
Please note: Only women and gender neutral skaters are permitted on teams under WFTDA regulations, but anyone of any gender can be a referee.
What if I want more practice time?
You are welcome to skate on the sidelines during any of our other practices. There are also three roller rinks nearby that offer open skating on various days and times: The Skating Place at ODAS Park in Orillia, Scooters in Mississauga, and Coachlite Gardens in Oshawa.
For more information, email us at: email@example.com