The Freshmeat course of fall 2015 reached its grande finale, and now our 25 new skaters will finally get to start their actual roller derby practises. Bunkkeri opened us new opportunities to improve the course greatly, and it surely paid of. This course was the biggest we have arranged so far, and there were more comers than we were able to include to the course. Read here the greetings from a few happy new roller derby players!

Interested in roller derby?
Next “open skate” events will be arranged in January, and the next Freshmeat Training Period (= beginners course) will begin in early February! You can sign in for the course by sending e-mail to hrd.freshmeat@gmail.com. We JUST opened the registration for the course, so act fast!

Penttinen right after the last FTP-course sessionPenttinen can finally tackle hard

“I was lucky to get a spot from the already full freshmeat course this fall. At that point I did not realize how much this brand new hobby would bring into my life considering I have already experienced many different kinds of sports in my life, but this – this is something I should have started – wait – 20 years ago when I stopped playing hockey (after one winter) ’cause girls weren’t allowed to tackle. So it was very much a now or never situation for me.

It was clear from the very beginning of our course that we all were welcome no matter background, size, age, sex or level of coolness. Our coaches Jabba and Hanski (and all the other helpers) gave their full guidance concerning whatever whenever during these great months.

So – you go to the Bunkkeri (coolest place ever to brake some sweat) put on your gear and you look up to those who are speeding at the track like crazy people, taking and giving hits, accelerating, turning, bridging, stopping, breathing the game and much much more, and you think – they have been in “my skates” before, some of them many years ago and some of them just recently, they have done it, I can do it!

And here I am –  here we are, we now know the basics, and now it is time to start kicking some ass, damn!! And no, it is not easy, but that’s why it’s even more worth the effort.”

Penttinen #46

Our freshmeats right after graduation

Roller derby made Satu move

“I just finished HRD’s FTP course and I’m really excited. Me, who never exercises, just started training! I saw my first roller derby bout earlier this year and I admired the players I saw. And now, less than a year later, I’m on skates myself!

I’m a 24-year old and 152 cm tall university student with no previous experience on sports, I couldn’t even make myself go jogging regularly. My last sports experience is from PE classes and those definitely didn’t make me into sports, quite the opposite.

I often thought I should start some sports hobby, but nothing intrigued me or even sounded suitable for me – before roller derby, I mean.

The only reason I second-guessed roller derby was the price of the gear. For a student that is a big sum, even if I bought my gear used. But when I thought about it more, I realised that of course the sum felt big for a person who had never put any money for exercising. And the money would go to a good cause: for sports, for my health!

I still don’t exercise as much as I should in my opinion, but roller derby has helped me get started. I have even noticed that surprisingly sports can be fun too! I still don’t like going to gym by myself, but I like going to derby practice! The team spirit of a contact sport and support of HRD makes the practices great.

I have always got a helping hand when needed and everyone has been really supportive. Even though some of the others in the freshmeat course have had more sports experience than me, that hasn’t discouraged me too much, because we basically all started without any experience with the new and exciting quad skates. Although indeed I have no previous experience and I’m in no good shape (yet), I haven’t had any trouble surviving the practices. I’ve also got good personal advice. I’ve had the opportunity to do everything in my own pace and develop my skills.

I think the best part in roller derby is the fact it’s for every shape and size and you can really see different people also playing in the matches! It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, big or small. Size doesn’t matter, or gender or anything else.

It was also nice to notice I too could find people to look up to from HRD. I haven’t heard about a sport before which would be this supportive. It’s really great that different kind of players have different strengths and I too have an opportunity to develop my skills, and that it actually feels possible!”

Satu Rajala

Interested in roller derby?
Next “open skate” events will be arranged in January, and the next Freshmeat Training Period (= beginners course) will begin in early February! You can sign in for the course by sending e-mail to hrd.freshmeat@gmail.com. We JUST opened the registration for the course, so act fast!

Thank you Queen B's

Queen B’s, the dedicated helper coaches of the course, were awarded with an awesome card and applause from the freshmeats

Text: Penttinen and Satu Rajala, the newest members of HRD

Photos: Marko Niemelä

This post is also available in: Finnish