The home arena of Helsinki Roller Derby, the Bunker in Jätkäsaari, was filled with joy and happiness of doing things together and learning, when 9-17 year old junior bootcampers took over the tracks.
Inka, Caitlin and Emma are no beginners in roller derby!
There were two groups of happy campers, one for each track. One group consisted of the junior members of HRD, who have been skating for one year now, and on the other track we had a bunch of eager newcomers. For two days we saw such happy and proud skaters – including the camp instructors!
Aaron, 12, has skated for a year now. For him, roller derby is a hobby unlike any of his classmates have. Unique kind of sport in a good gang.
-Others play hockey or floorball. Roller derby is the best, because here you can go fast! The best part is when you get to skate. The training day is always very much awaited.
Aaron also likes the fact that everyone is fully committed in roller derby. -Like here in the bootcamp: everyone is doing their absolute best!
For 14-year old Armin this was the first time in roller derby -practise. After few hours of practise things started to run along smoothly. The skates are taking orders and the speed increases. This ninth grader decides to sign up for the next junior course straight away. The distance is not a problem: something this fun is good enough reason to travel from Hämeenlinna to Helsinki (that’s roughly 100km, over 1 hour drive).
-I find it really cool that everyone can do things together. Here people are not compartmentalised based for example on gender, like in almost all the other sports. Anyone can come here just the way they are. That is really important, Armin praises.
For Inka, 12, this Junior Bootcamp is continuation to a year of roller derby. Inka, who also likes swimming and dancing, tells us that she likes the atmosphere and great team spirit the best thing in roller derby.
-The coaches are also really nice. We are all friends, and none of the coaches will yell -we practise with high spirits.
These 20 young ones learned tons of new things during the weekend. Every one of them went home with a lot more courage, agility and balance. The last mental picture from the camp was the incredibly loud cheering. We did it all together!
Get a bite of the atmosphere in our Instagram:
Video, jonka Helsinki Roller Derby (@helsinkirollerderby) julkaisi
The event was organised by Helsinki Roller Derby in co-operation with Roller Derby Finland.
Text: Ani Kellomäki
Photos: Marko Niemelä
This post is also available in: Finnish