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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2019

Vancouver Junior Roller Derby Rallies for New Facility on May 5

Youth sports league in danger of losing only available practice space in the city

Vancouver, BC – A celebration and rally will be hosted by Vancouver Junior Roller Derby on May 5 to raise awareness about the lack of space for wheeled sports in Vancouver. The event at Robson Square will include roller derby demonstrations, roller skating lessons, and presentations by local leaders.

“Vancouver needs a venue for roller sports,” says Vancouver Junior Roller Derby chair Laura Drummond. “Roller skaters do have access to a few dry floors here and there, but these spaces are either scarce or expensive. Currently, the Vancouver School Board and nearly all of the city’s community centres will not allow any wheeled sports on their floors. The few facilities that do allow roller skates disappear in the fall and winter when ice is put in, which is the season when we need them the most. VJRD and Terminal City Roller Derby (Vancouver’s adult league) do not currently have dependable access to an indoor facility that is sufficient for practice or competitive games. VJRD has a growing membership waitlist, but we cannot welcome any new members because we never know if we’re going to have a place to skate in three months.”

Roller derby is known for its gender inclusive and LGBTQ/2S-friendly culture. According to research, queer and non-binary youth are 50% less likely to participate in team sports, and girls’ overall participation in sports drops by 22% by the time they enter their teen years. VJRD is one of the few local leagues that openly welcomes transgender and non-binary youth; there are no “girls’” or “boys’” teams the way sports are traditionally categorized. For non-binary and female-identified children, this inclusive culture encourages physical confidence and personal empowerment in potential athletes who may not otherwise try team sports. Roller derby is a safe place that welcomes these youth with open arms, yet the spaces for them to practice are in danger.

The Nowhere to Roll Vancouver event is a call to action to raise awareness of wheeled sports groups in Vancouver that would benefit from a dedicated facility, including roller derby, recreational roller skating, skateboarding, wheelchair sports, bike polo, and in-line skating. The event is free to the public and will have rental roller skates on-site for anyone wishing to go for a roll and feel the fun and health benefits of roller skating.

About Vancouver Junior Roller Derby

Established in 2013, the mission of Vancouver Junior Roller Derby is to empower youth aged 6 to 18 through the sport of roller derby. We aim to foster teamwork, leadership, physical fitness and inclusion in a diverse and supportive community.

LISTING INFORMATION – Nowhere to Roll Campaign Launch

Date & Time: Sunday, May 5, 11:00am to 4:00pm

Location: Robson Square Rink800 Robson Sq., Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2E7

Admission: Free!

Website: vjrd.ca

Contact: Laura Drummond, VJRD Chair, vjrdchair@gmail.com, 604-788-5969

 

Download high-res photos below, please credit Denise Holliday (all parental permissions have been granted)

Photo by Denise Holliday @esinedphotos
Photo by Denise Holliday @esinedphotos
Photo by Denise Holliday @esinedphotos
Photo by Denise Holliday @esinedphoto