Taking a Break From
Skating but Staying Part of Your League
- Why I’ve Kept Involved in DRD During My Pregnancy
By Lindsay a.k.a Coach -
Delta Burka, Dubai Roller Derby
I caught the nine month
injury in April, right as our fledgling league was ramping up for our big
Season 3 launch and personally, as my skating was taking off. It would have been
expected that I disappeared this year – “sayonara skater, better luck next
But…I didn’t do that, I
didn’t bow out.
We have all seen it,
time, money, injury or unforeseen circumstances taking our teammates away for a
short period of time, or in some cases, permanently.
While it’s hard to see
your team progressing without you, there are so many advantages to staying involved,
even if you can’t skate:
your personal development as a skater
You learn a lot from watching your teammates and
now that you’ve got time freed up to skip endurance training, you can catch up
on industry reading and bout watching. Without the ability to demonstrate, you
pick up that special skill of explaining technique without skating. Your
knowledge and understanding of the rules, skills, and strategy also increase
2. Gives you a chance to
check out other league roles
Who knew you’d love NSOing so much? Or that the
board treasurer would be a great fit for you. You may find that coaching, reffing, NSOing or
getting involved in your league’s management or board of directors is where an
untapped wellspring exists...or not? You’ve learned that too and gain some
understanding of what those volunteers go through.
3. Bank some good karma
Everyone “just wants to skate”, and it’s
notoriously tough to get team members to take on the running of the league and
volunteer their time. When you selflessly give to your league for a period of
time, you earn yourself some good league karma and a few favors from your
teammates when you’re back on your skates.
You give yourself time to rest your body, your
gear, your bank account and your mental state without becoming completely cut
off from your league activity and team family. Instead of rushing to heal your
injury or close out your personal issue so you can get back ASAP, you stay
involved and you’re not missing out.
5. Gain a unique
perspective on your league / team
You have the rare opportunity to observe your league
from a different viewpoint; acquiring an invaluable perspective on team
business, strategy or organization. You may spot some great ideas or areas for
improvement that you can suggest, or at least get some much needed perspective
on derby family telenovela-dramas.
I’ve always been Head of
Training for DRD, but retiring my skates for a season let me focus 100% on
coaching and the progress of our team and as a result, the team has grown
and improved tremendously. I’m so proud of them.
It’s been enlightening
to spend a season not trying to divide my attention between my individual
progress and that of the teams.
I have missed skating
terribly during my pregnancy, but I couldn’t imagine not seeing my teammates
and staying involved with the team’s training this year. I’ll be taking
maternity leave and handing over the reins for a little while, but I look
forward to strapping back on the pads and catching up with them as soon as I
Derby is more than a
sport, it’s family and I can’t wait for our ‘Little Ref’ to learn the wild and
wonderful world of derby.
Dubai Roller Derby
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this article, and the opinions expressed.
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