Welcome to our series of #KentGirlsCan blogs, where we will be sharing inspiring stories of women and girls from around Kent who are getting active and doing their thing, no matter what anyone else thinks. Today we’re featuring Kent Roller Girls, the roller derby team that is smashing stereotypes around women’s sport!
Kent Roller Girls (KRG) was founded in 2010 and has gone from strength-to-strength, growing into a thriving club that has a senior league, with an A-team, and a recreational league for beginners and those looking to develop their skills. Roller derby is growing in prominence in the UK, and a thriving scene is developing around the sport, much as it has in the USA in the last 20 years.
The game is fast, furious and very physical – with two teams of five players sharing an oval-shaped track and jostling for position (a full roller derby team can contain up to 14 players, but only five can be on the track at any one time). Four players from each team are “blockers”, while one member of each team is a “jammer”. The aim of the game is for the jammer to break through the block, and lap as many of the opposing team’s players as possible. The blocker’s job is to attempt to stop the jammer from passing.
KRG’s recreational league offers a great opportunity for girls who haven’t skated before, or haven’t pulled their skates on for a long time, to have a go at the sport and hone their skills. Each recreational league member can work towards developing a set of skills that will make them eligible to compete in the senior league.
The vibe of the recreational league is fun and friendly, with a real mix of abilities. The club fosters a genuine sense of community, with recreational league members even making their own “Is it Sunday yet?” t-shirts, reflecting the enthusiasm towards the weekly Sunday evening rec league sessions.
Team member Serena Gilbert says “Recreational League Derby gives women a chance to have some time for themselves to see how well they can learn and adapt to a new set of skills, whilst having fun and being supported in a friendly environment. We have women from a size six to 22, from under 5ft tall to nearly 6ft, it’s about whether you can give it your all, rather than how big or small you are.”
Kent Roller Girls epitomise the spirit and attitude of #KentGirlsCan! If you’re keen to give this exciting and inclusive sport a try, or just get your skates on for the first time in years and have some fun, check out the KRG recreational league webpage at kentrollergirls.com/rec-league.