UK Roller Derby leagues began forming in 2006 – London Rollergirls, Birmingham Blitz Dames, London Rockin Rollers, and Glasgow Rollergirls were first to get together. Middlesbrough Milk Rollers, Central City Rollergirls, Royal Windsor Rollergirls, and Leeds Roller Dolls got their skates on during 2007, and along with Sheffield Steel Rollergirls, Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Romsey Town Rollerbillies, Lincolnshire Bombers Rollergirls and Rebellion Rollergirls (established 2008), members from these leagues came together, and formed UKRDA.
At the time of writing, there are over 90 leagues across the UK, but the popularity and development of the sport has not just magically happened – it’s been nurtured, promoted and developed by pro-active UK leagues over the past five years.
Their blisters, sweat, travelling and tenacity laid the foundations for the sport as it is today – a vast network of leagues, that train hard to play an exciting, tactical and physical women’s sport, which is growing in popularity; these original elements have also powered the work accomplished by UKRDA.
UKRDA was formed by skaters, for skaters, from an informal yahoo group in 2008. Three years of collaborative work by these original leagues turned that group into a formal association and has led to formal links with British Roller Skating Foundation (BRSF) and Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA); roller derby being officially recognised as a sport in the UK; an invitation for UKRDA to represent the sport at 10 Downing Street – alongside a members discussion forum, which provides a wealth of information, support and knowledge for member leagues.
UKRDA is currently developing a UK rankings system and insurance offers for UK skaters – and its member leagues have been involved in many of the ‘big’ moments of UK roller derby history – and this progression shows no signs of slowing down.
In derby, and in life, you’ve got to look back to go forward, and now it seems a good time to chart just how far we’ve come by working together – with the UKRDA list of important milestones in UK Roller Derby: UKRDA MAJOR MILESTONES