During last summer we moved our training space to the fifth floor of Bunkkeri in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki. We build our own place there. In the fifth floor we now have two tracks, and a home.

Bunkkeri_logo

We cleaned up and made the space suitable for our use, just like anyone fixing their new home would do. We are cleaning Bunkkeri daily, like we clean our homes. Our crib now looks like someone moving on his/hers own for the very first time made the interior design: there are no matching sets of chairs, but instead we have old restaurant lockers and all weird stuff like cheesy 90s pop band posters. It really feels like home. Cold, gray and concrete is no more: 5th floor is full of life, orange lockers and happy roller derby skaters.

We are a non-profit organisation (like all WFTDA-organisations, we exist “for the skaters, by the skaters”). We don’t pay salaries. We do everything ourselves. This is because we want to keep our membership/training costs as low as possible for all our members, so that everyone has equal opportunity to skate and do what they love. This is also why we did huge amounts of volunteer work during the summer: we for example picked trashes and cleaned toilets in festivals areas basically the whole summer to pay our rent.

Our tracks are used by three leagues (us, Kallio Rolling Rainbow and Tampere Rollin Bros), Team Finland, and our juniors. There are altogether over 300 users, and we have roughly 35 hours of training per week (which makes 150 hours skating training each month).

Not to mention all the bootcamps and other events: according to WFDTAs report, there are over 500 roller derby players in Finland. Roller Derby Finland counts over 800. Bunkkeri has taken its place as a heart of Finnish roller derby scene. It has opened up opportunities for so much more. All the junior activities in Southern Finland takes place in Bunkkeri -and that is something we have been and will be developing heavily.

 

HRD juniors spring 2015

 

Text: Anni Saastamoinen, Chair of Board

Photos: Marko Niemelä

Translation: Jabba

This post is also available in: Finnish