Today's guest blog post is provided by the amazing Sam "Knuckle Slamwitch" Barr. Sam is the President and one of the founders of of Toronto LOCO Roller Derby. Skating since 2010, she also works in a consulting firm. She has seen Leonard Cohen live in concert twice and with writing like this, someone should buy her a third ticket. Personally, she is the reason I got into derby and she is my derby hero.
Rogue: A Skater’s Manifesto
1 - We will not overcomplicate things. We will base our decisions on what is easiest, and makes the most amount of sense for the most amount of people.
2 - We will be open to change and improvements. We will not stick with something just because it’s the way we’ve always done it
3 - We will be welcoming to our skaters. Our attitude will never be “where were you last week?” but rather “practice isn’t the same without you, and we’re glad to see you again.”
4 - We will motivate our skaters with positive reinforcement, rather than yelling or unconstructive criticism. We will push each other to work hard and do our best in a positive way.
5 - We will not look to our skaters to be our sole source of funding. When additional funding is needed, we will look to other sources such as sponsorships, fundraisers or donations
6 - We will offer our support in any we can to injured skaters and make sure they know they are still part of the team, whether on skates or on crutches.
7 - We will make ourselves an active, visible part of the community. We will acknowledge that community support is a two-way street. If we want help from the community, we will make ourselves available to help the community back.
8 - We will encourage each other to make healthy choices, but we will not be overly negative or critical when someone slips. We will acknowledge that we are all human.
9 - We will be financially sustainable. While we will not seek to make a profit from the league, we will seek to earn money to grow and improve the league. We will make smart financial decisions and not waste money
10 - We will be honest with ourselves and each other when something about our training is not effective and we will work together to find a better option, whether it be a different practice structure, different drills or different training leadership
11 - We will never use the phrase “real derby.” There is no such thing
12 - We will never assume that someone can’t play derby because of her physical size or shape, athletic ability, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other personal traits. The only things that prevent a person from playing derby are injury or a bad attitude.
You can find Sam's original Facebook post here. Until further notice, posts will be once-weekly on Mondays!