November 29, 2022
  • November 29, 2022

Where can adults learn to roller skate in Squamish?

By on October 3, 2022 0

The Squamish Roller Derby Association offers roller skating sessions.

Whether you’ve never roller-skated in your life, or haven’t ridden since the days when skates were on metal frames attached to your sneakers (remember that?), it can be an opportunity for you.

The Squamish Roller Derby Association offers sessions to teach anyone interested in the basics of four-wheel skating.

Sessions take place on Sunday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Brennan Park Recreation Center in Chief Stawamus’ Activity Room.

They’re fun fundamentals-focused sessions, says Shannon Handley (her derby name is “Mala Justed”), who started the Sea to Sky Sirens derby team in the Sea to Sky around 2008.

The accomplished roller derby veteran emphasized that these were non-contact sessions. No one is going to smack someone else.

It’s not about preparing for a derby fight, although ideally there will eventually be enough qualified skaters to return to team fights.

Like most clubs that have been closed during the pandemic, the team is currently under reconstruction.

So for now it’s just about having fun and learning the basics.

And even if a team gets going again, session organizers are committed to maintaining a non-contact skating program. Eventually, they would also like to launch an initiation to skating program for young people. Current sessions are for adults only.

“One of the things that we hope to bring through our programming is to teach…a new skill or sport into your adult life. It’s just very special. There’s something really, really exciting and empowering about it,” said Handley, who entered the derby at 26.

She “retired” from it in 2018, but, like many, found herself reflecting during pandemic isolation on what she really valued about her pre-COVID life.

Turns out she wasn’t ready to hang up her skates.

“I missed the freedom to play physical sport and be in a large group of people,” she said.

And after years of not doing the same as a group during COVID-19 restrictions, it’s a chance to rebuild the community,

We’re going to laugh, we’re going to have fun and have that kind of community again,” Handley said. “And come out of our shells again.”

Fellow derby local, Lindsay Leathem (Rowdy Roddy Pippa), says skating and derby is where she first made friends when she moved to Squamish around 2013.

These people are her closest friends today, she says.

The women insist that budding skaters don’t have to go all out.

People can just come and check it out. And even if the participants never plan to do derby, the sessions are ideal for anyone who practices any type of roller skating.

All genres are welcome.

“We want everyone to come,” Leathem said. “Anyone who wants to be on four wheels.”

Equipment is available for newcomers, although they ask attendees to bring their own helmets.

If nothing else, it’s great cardio, the pair said.

Session registration is available at Squamish District Leisure & Culture

to place.

For more information from the organizers, contact: [email protected], or go to Facebook Squamish Women’s Roller Derby Associationor on Instagram @seatoskysirens.