Rebel Teens Have a New Home in Roller Derby

A common phrase from a skater is that “derby is for everybody.”  This is true — there are skaters ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 50s, from all ethnicities, from multiple faiths and cultural backgrounds, and all forms of gender identity. What goes under the radar is that the next breed of roller derby superstars are already being developed for their evolution into the realms of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby (WFTDA), Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), and the everyday life of adulthood. You can find them in the Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA).

Started by derby fans in Tucson, Arizona in 2006 with the JRDA being fully established in 2009, more than 15 countries with 38 international leagues have opened the gateway to young athletes. Their mission is “to nurture bold self-confidence in youth by developing teamwork and athletic ability while treasuring individuality within a culture of integration, encouragement and service to others.” With their first World Cup held in 2015, JRDA is putting in motion their second one in 2018 with tryouts for Team USA happening throughout this summer.

What about Providence? After over a decade rolling on all the tracks in RI, Providence Roller Derby is finally opening the doors to their first junior league: Providence Junior Roller Derby!

In a press release, PRD’s governing board describes itself as more than just a sport. “When you begin to skate with Providence Roller Derby, your view of yourself and community evolves. Every body type is celebrated. Every person is welcome.” The attitude is one of building one’s self and each other in the derby family — something that would help guide adolescents as they reach adulthood. “We all become part of an amazing community of women who, as we say, knock each other down and lift each other up. We can offer our knowledge and mentorship to bring a new, younger generation into the fold.”

If you are a parent or guardian looking to sign up the next future roller derby star, there will be a meet and greet on Sat, Sep 9 from 9 – 11am at Teamworks on 170 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick. The program runs every Saturday morning from Sep 23 to Oct 28 at the same location and time, and only costs $100 per junior skater.  Don’t worry if you can’t skate. They will be happy to teach and train the next generation of PRD. For more information, email juniors@providencerollerdery.com

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