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WFTDA - Womyns Flat Track Derby Association
In 2017 I completed my first year of Roller Derby.



Year in review with the world number 1 Roller Derby league, VRDL, Victorian Roller Derby League:

VRDL Victorian Roller Derby League have a toxic culture. VRDL discriminate against and harass some skaters. VRDL skaters may experience sexual harassment, threats of violence. VRDL coaches may violate a skaters dignity, through humiliating and intimidating behaviour. VRDL ExComm (executive committee) may promote a negative, dishonest, and unsafe environment for skaters. VRDL may choose to act dishonestly, act unethically, and refuse to be held accountable. VRDL may best be avoided for those wishing a positive and friendly Roller Derby experience.

1. What is Roller Derby, WFTDA?
2. What are the requirements to play Roller Derby WFTDA?
3. Structure of Roller Derby.
4. The good the bad and the ugly of Roller Derby.
5. Discrimination and denial.
6. The future of Roller Derby.
7. Derby doll resources

Roller Derby is a sport that is led by womyn, for womyn. This may sound strange at first, only because we are conditioned to think of "normal" sports being a male thing ... well there is nothing normal with that perception. It is a symptom of patriarchal conditioning that says sports equates to a male activity and that womyn who play sports aren't really playing a sport proper.

The reality is, womyn are outstanding athletes and Roller Derby has some of the most amazing and talented athletes in sports. Roller Derby is a future sport that will continue to grow and improve.





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1. What is Roller Derby, WFTDA?

Roller Derby is a sport played on quad skates, with protective gear, under the rules of WFTDA, Womyn Flat Track Derby Association. There may be other forms of Roller Derby, but in this article, the terms "Roller Derby" and "WFTDA Roller Derby" are interchangeable.






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2. What are the requirements to play Roller Derby WFTDA?

A womyn seeking to play Roller Derby should have good balance, and love quad skates. Then comes the actual training, which requires protective gear such as knee, wrist, elbow, mouth, and head gear. This is all explained with the WTFDA rules of the sport. See the resources links below to learn more.






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3. Structure of Roller Derby.

Roller Derby is a structured sport, with some small variations in the implementation. Essentially there is a learning to skate part, a learning to derby part, actually playing roller derby and from there it becomes a selection process - which is as much political as it is skills based. The Roller Derby culture, which is both a good thing and a bad thing ... will be covered below.






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4. The good the bad and the ugly of Roller Derby.

The good - Roller Derby on quad skates has it all, with all the sparkle, excitement, fierce sports womynship and teamwork ... amazing athletic displays and positive attitudes ... what isn't to love ?!

The bad - unqualified and under-qualified people in positions of power, abusing positions of power, with little to no transparency and accountability.

The ugly - those with power acting inappropriately, including talking down to others, demanding demeaning tasks, refusing to be open and accountable, acting unprofessionally ... and then the toxic males such as repeated unwanted sexual advances, demeaning comments about femyl skaters, predatory behaviour.







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5. Discrimination and denial.

There are many examples of discrimination in Roller Derby and most of this relates to the league in question acting outside the intended scope of WFTDA, which is to be transparent, accountable, and professional at all times.

I could list examples of discrimination here, but better still, I can relate my own experience. Now I am not talking about being spoken to like I am worthless, barely tolerated, unwanted, and at times seen as an easy mark for bullying and such like ... which I experienced on an almost regular basis, from those who think they have a right to treat me like this, because they see me as something less.

No, what I am talking about is integrity and honesty. In particular the lack of such at times, and not just weakly or complicity excusing such toxic behaviour, but having the moral backbone to call it out for what it is.

For example. In August 2017 I did the assessment called "minimum skills" to move me from learning to play roller derby to actually playing such. I did enough to pass, but was failed anyway. I was told, in writing that one more term of three months, and I would be passed.

I trained really hard, passed ALL the WFTDA minimum skills, and then I was FAILED again ... such a very UGLY thing to do! Blatant discrimination and against what WFTDA stipulates, to act fairly at all times.

Discrimination in sport is unacceptable, and at the time of writing, Saturday 16 December 2017, this matter is at the dispute stage internally with VRDL (Victorian Roller Derby League), poised for external legal avenues of address should the result uphold the discrimination.

I passed the WFTDA minimum skills, and should therefore be passed. That I was failed even though I passed is unacceptable and all legal options will be thoroughly exercised if VRDL fail to act with integrity in this disputed matter.

It takes a strong womyn with integrity and intellectual ability to stand up for what is right, even if she is the only voice to do so. She may tremble against the mob of shrills and sycophants that try to shout her down, but the rights of a womyn are NEVER open to compromise. I aspire to being such a strong womyn and I will not accept womyn being discriminated against! No means no, to discrimination!!!

Update Saturday 23 December 2017. VRDL, Victorian Roller Derby League are dishonest, unethical, harrass and discriminate. Therefore formal legal action is being taken.







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6. The future of Roller Derby.

The Roller Derby world is an awesome sport with some of the most amazing and talented womyn, inspiring many and helping to make this a better world ... that is the Roller Derby I love and am privileged to have experienced and been a part of this past year.

What is desperately needed, is focus on being transparent, accountable, taking reports of sexual, predatory, and toxic behaviour seriously. Stop protecting those in power with personalities that are skewed to abuses of power and mind games ... why are they even in such roles in the first place?!

Roller Derby womyn need to keep our space safe and fair for all womyn, at all times. Not discriminate against those perceived as different, weak, unworthy, or unwanted ... for everyone with a positive attitude should be welcome.

The very best Roller Derby skater is the one that is inclusive and acts fairly ... thankfully, there are many such awesome womyn in the WFTDA.







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7. Derby doll resources

Roller Derby Heroines xo - Facebook

WFTDA - Womyn Flat Track Derby Association

VRDL - Victorian Roller Derby League

Chrisentiae Saint-Piaf - Facebook





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