Finding Your Community: Online Edition

Derby is hard, especially when you’re a wobbly new skater, and the mental/emotional side can be unexpectedly tough. While it’s super important to get support from other skaters in your own league, the Internet is full of great skaters who love to talk derby and can be there to share love and support! Heck, it may even be more important to find online skate friends, because there can be times when you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you know offline, and having a little bit of distance can be a huge help.

So here are a few places to look to make online skate friends and get some support in your skate journey!

Facebook

Many leagues manage all of their internal communication on Facebook, but there are a bunch of great groups that are open to skaters from all over. Not only can you participate in discussions, but you can make FB friends with skaters who are going through similar things and make some new buddies!

Search for the following group names in the FB search bar:

  • Roller Derby Compendium for Freshies Worldwide: A fabulous group for new skaters to talk about skills, gear, mental toughness, and get feedback on all sorts of questions and concerns
  • Roller Derby Team Turtle: Group for skaters (like me) who might be progressing slower than others in their league. Slow and steady all the way!
  • Roller Derby Mental Health & Chronic Illness: Lots of love and support for skaters dealing with mental or physical health problems. If you’re worried about skaters you know IRL seeing your posts, the admins can post anonymously on your behalf.

#DerbyTwitter

Twitter is another hotbed of social media activity! Derby-related discussions are flagged with  #derbytwitter, so a quick search on that hashtag will bring up a lot of great discussion.

There are several types of participants in #derbytwitter: league official accounts, individual skaters, and skate bloggers. And everybody comes together for some great discussions! Pose a question, add a hashtag, and you can get TONS of expert advice from skaters around the world.

It’s also a great way to follow what’s going on in the worldwide derby community. Following #derbytwitter during a tournament can give you some great commentary and inside info from participating teams, plus you can show your support for your favorite teams and/or skaters by tagging them in your post!

There have been some fabulous discussions lately about the greater state of worldwide derby. What does “revolutionary” mean in the context of WFTDA’s slogan “Real. Strong. Athletic. Revoluationary.” mean? What do you want to see happen in the derby world in 2019? It’s a great way to understand others’ perspectives and contribute to the global discussion.

Reddit

Even though there’s some pretty awful stuff in certain pockets of Reddit, the site has a really great community in /r/rollerderby. It’s another forum that gives you a great place to ask questions and get feedback about pretty much any situation you may run into. There are regular “help me pick a derby name” and “new skater questions” threads, so you don’t need to feel awkward about asking something that may have come up a hundred times before. Plus, thanks to the mod team, it’s super drama-free and a very positive environment.

Anything else?

Have I missed anything? Are there any pages, Twitter accounts, or blogs that you think new skaters should know about? Let me know in the comments!

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