How much does it cost?
Sign-up: To join WARD as a Member costs $50 per financial year. You will also need to sign up for insurance with Skate Australia for $65 per calendar year. In total you’re looking at $115 to sign up.
Training: There are two options for your training session. WARD offers a generous discount for paying your training dues upfront for the 12 week cycle. The rate for a skater not yet on a team is $100 for 12 weeks. This means that if you attend one training session a week, the cost is only $8.33 per session. If you train twice a week your cost is slashed to $4.16 per session. If you do not choose to pay upfront and take advantage of the discounted rate, you may pay the casual rate of $15 per session.
Then you will also need gear.
What gear do I need?
You will need a helmet, mouth-guard, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and skates. If you want to treat yourself to new stuff, then Lucky Skates is your local place. If you are after second-hand gear, a great option is to check out eBay, Gumtree, or the WA Skate Swap/Sell/Buy page on Facebook for bargains. We have a limited range of gear available to borrow (excluding mouth guards), but please email your Level 1 coordinator in advance to find out what we have, in what sizes, as it’s first come first served. Be warned, the loan gear stinks so you want to get your own as soon as possible. At the very least, you will need your own mouthguard before you can skate with us.
What’s the process to join up?
Come along to one of the information sessions (held every 3 months) and hear all about how our program works, how to sign up, and what the costs are. As these are held during a training session, you will get to see the current skaters and officials in action.
Will I get hit on my first session?
No. In fact, you will not get hit at all for many months! Level 1 is entirely non-contact. We need you to demonstrate that you can stop and fall safely and are steady on your feet before you can make contact. You will need to do 12 weeks of training, and then pass an assessment before you are classed as Level 2 (Contact Cleared). Then we teach you how to both give and take hits safely. If you decide that contact isn’t for you then check out how to become a Referee and join our amazing Team Zebra!
Is it hard work?
The hardest session is the first one, as your muscles may not be used to this kind of movement. The next hardest session is the second one because you will know what to expect, and it may be harder than you thought, and you may start to doubt yourself. This is normal. Don’t worry, it gets easier each and every week. If you stick with it for 12 weeks we promise you will look back and smile at your progress.
What will my first training session be like?
After paying your session fee, and signing in, we’ll all do an off-skates warm-up together, then you’ll be introduced to your coach. Your coach will ease you into the world of derby with some practice at stopping, maybe a couple of falls, and some stepping. You may even do a speed skate, to get your starting lap-count, which you will gradually increase over the coming weeks. Then it’ll be over before you know it and we’ll all do a cool-down and a chat. We’re pretty friendly like that.
Can I try a training session before I sign up?
Unfortunately, no. Due to the nature of this sport, you need to be completely insured before stepping on the track. But if you come along to one of our information sessions you can watch our current Level 1 and 2 skaters train. That will give you a fair idea of what training involves and whether it might be for you!
Can my friends come and watch me train?
All of our training sessions are closed to the public, to protect the privacy of our skaters. The last thing anyone needs when they’re trying to learn a new skill is an audience. However, week 7 of every cycle is our Family and Friends night, which is when you can invite anyone you like to come along and watch you train. They can even bring pompoms.
I want to be a skater! How long will it take before I can play games?
How long is a piece of string? Some skaters breeze through the 4 levels and all 3 of their assessments and are bouting skaters after 9 months. Others take years. Everyone learns this sport at their own pace and there is no pressure to advance before you feel ready. Some skaters prefer to do each level a few times before assessing, others can’t wait to get to the next one. Its entirely up to you.
I’ve got a really cool derby name already. Should I get a sticker for my helmet and start getting some shirts printed before I start training?
A derby name is a privilege, not a right, and it is earned through hard work and determination. We don’t register skater derby names until you have passed your level 2 assessment, or have made other significant contributions to the league in an off-skates capacity.
But I can’t skate….?
That’s ok, we’ll teach you! However, if you feel you’d like to be able to skate a little before starting, most of the rinks in Perth hold adult skating lessons. These are often called “star classes”. They are awesome and definitely help, and we highly recommend them.