Is Roller Derby Still DIY?

Posted on December 5, 2011 by

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Last week Skate Australia and the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (affectionately referred to as woofda – WFTDA) announced that they had signed a partnership agreement with each other.

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Their joint press release said that “The organizations have agreed to work together to train and accredit roller derby officials and coaches in Australia to facilitate the development of the sport, skaters and teams. They also will work to develop additional competitive pathways for Australian teams.”

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To me, this seemed a positive move. Many of the women joining roller derby are understandably attracted to the sport itself and are somewhat overwhelmed by the governance responsibilities that come with joining a league. In addition, some leagues struggle and experience internal turmoil because of stress over managing aspects like finances, insurance and events.

Not everyone shared my optimistic outlook however. There were some entertaining but cynical messages posted on Facebook in response to the news. I’ve reproduced some quotes below. I’ve left off people’s names for privacy’s sake but if you’re one of the commenters and want to own your quote feel free to add to the comments section.

Thank you WFTDA for upholding our predictions of a sell out to Skate Australia; ‘buy the skater, whore the skater’. Glad we never lubed up for you… Like true imperialists both organizations have either wooed through diplomacy or subsumed groups through wielding power. Kinda opposite to the grassroots/DIY (or even democratic) roots of OUR sport.

Skate Australia partnership with WFTDA… Smells bad to me. I’m a fan of independence

…in mourning for Aussie Derby with the unholy alliance between WFTDA and Skate Australia 😦      

What are your thoughts on this partnership?

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Posted in: LimboLand