FitFeb Roller Derby Session

Posted on 26-01-2018 by Jack Deakin

Try something new with Birmingham LGBT for Fitness February: A month-long programme of free sports, activities and fitness tasters for the LGBT Community in Birmingham, offering something every single day for you to try.

Relax, workout, meet people, learn new skills, do something exciting!

We’re excited to be partnering with the Birmingham Blitz Dames, who invite you to try out roller derby this February!

This action-packed contact team sport is played on roller skates on an oval track.

Have a look at:

This free two-hour taster is aimed at beginners, whether you have skated before or not, and will get you started with skating, agility and safe falling!

Whether you would like to try playing roller derby, or fancy becoming an official or referee, this session is for you!

When: Sunday 25th February, 12noon-2pm
Where: Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre, Broomfield, Smethwick, West Midlands B67 7DH

To book your place, email with your shoe size.
Skates and pads are provided.
Wear comfortable clothing you can move and sweat in, and bring a drink or refillable bottle.
Roller derby does require a certain level of movement and physical ability. If you are unsure or would like to discuss access further please email

Three LGBT Blitz Dames’ Stories….

Heather, 23

How did you get involved with roller derby, Heather?
I haven’t played a sport since I was a kid and I missed it so I was looking into local options. Met some of the Birmingham Blitz Dames at the Pride in Sport event, they were so enthusiastic about derby and it sounded super interesting (and also required no experience!) so I wrote my email down and went to watch a session.

Were you doing any other sports or fitness activities?
Only going to the gym once or twice a week.

What do you love about it?
The training sessions are fun and whilst learning to skate is really challenging, it means even small amounts of progress makes you feel great. So far everyone has been so nice and the coaches are supportive. Also, the bouts are unlike anything I’ve ever watched before and seeing the dedication and enthusiasm of the league members is inspiring.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about giving roller derby a go?
Go for it! You meet some great people in a welcoming environment and get have a ton of fun whilst challenging yourself!

Tess Sting, 59

How did you get involved with roller derby, Tess?
A former workmate mentioned that she was involved with roller derby, and eventually (two years later) I looked into it – I wish I’d done so immediately!

Were you doing any other sports or fitness activities?
No, I’d never been sporty in my life, and was very unfit before getting involved
with the derby scene.

What do you love about it?
The derby scene is very egalitarian, and great fun, and derby is a fantastic spectator sport. And derby succeeded in keeping me at my efforts to get fitter where nothing else had!

What would you say to someone who was thinking about giving roller derby a go?
Go for it. Absolutely go for it. You will not find a more welcoming scene for LGBTQ+ people anywhere. I am myself both trans and lesbian, and neither has been any kind of issue, let alone a problem. All folk in the derby scene care about is “do you love derby?”, and if you’re trans and want to skate, you just pick a league appropriate for the gender you identify with (so far as derby is concerned) so if you’re MTF you join a women’s league, if you’re FTM, you join a men’s league. If you don’t want to (or can’t) skate but instead want to help out officiating and setting up for bouts, then it doesn’t matter what gender you are.

Getting involved with derby is the single best thing I’ve ever done. I had a lot of problems, especially socially, when I got involved with derby, and the derby scene gave me the self-confidence to tackle them, and I’m a much happier (as well as fitter!) woman today as a result.

Veloskitty, 28
How did you get involved with roller derby, Kitty?
I was at a queer-focused riot-grrr night where my local league was in attendance doing promotion. I never actually spoke to them, but my girlfriend thought it was really cool so signed us both up (without telling me!). We both attended their newbie session and never really looked back. My partner has since stopped playing, but five years, seven countries and three continents later and I’m still skating.

Were you doing any other sports or fitness activities?
At the time I was recovering from surgery so was really unfit, in a lot of pain and had a lot of muscle wastage. Prior to that I played hockey and did some rock climbing. Never really was much of a sportswoman though!

What do you love about it?
I love the sense of community within Roller Derby. Its one of the only communities I’ve ever been in where I can honestly say that diversity is not merely tolerated, but actively embraced and welcomed, rather than judged and demonised. I find that really rare within sports.

I also love the feeling of freedom I get when I strap on a pair of skates and go racing round dodging people.

Plus, there’s something great about hitting knocking someone flying when you’ve had a really bad day, only to then have them in hysterics and high five you for a great hit.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about giving roller derby a go?
The Birmingham Blitz Dames are one of the most amazing and lovely bunch of people I have ever met, and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a group of people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. To my queer brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings I could not recommend derby (and the Blitz Dames) more emphatically! Come give it a go 🙂

[Also, check out the WFTDA and UKRDAs Inclusion policies – I promise you will be impressed!]