Learn to play roller derby

Want to learn to play roller derby? We’ll teach you!

Each year, we host a new skater intake for those interested in living their own roller derby dreams. To stay updated on when our next round is, join our mailing list! You can also check in with us on Facebook.

What you will learn

You will be taught skills from the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)’s Minimum Skills Requirements.

The course is tailored for people who can already stand up and move comfortably on quad roller skates (no rollerblades please).

The course is structured to help you build on your skills week by week:

  • Weeks 1-10: basic skating skills
  • Weeks 11-15: contact and learning to play the game

You will be tested on the skills you’re learning every 5 weeks; if you fail a test you will not be able to continue with the training sessions this time around, but can try again at the next intake. If this is your second intake and you fail again, we’ll ask you to take some time to work on your skating before trying again.

When you’ve completed the Minimum Skills Requirements you’ll be ready to join in with the wider Newcastle Roller Girls and start playing the game!

Time commitment

The course needs commitment, for your safety and ours. If you miss more than 4 sessions during the 15 weeks, you will be asked to come back for the next intake. Attendance is measured by being on skates – so for example, if due to kit shortage issues you can’t take part in a session, you will miss that week.

The start of the course is really important, and if you can’t make the first session of an intake, you can start in the second week. If you miss both of these sessions you will have to wait until the next intake.

Learning new skills every week is hard, and you’ll need to put in extra practice to pass. Rollerdiscos are a great place to practice!

Age requirements

You must be 18 or over, and if you are under the age of 21 or look particularly youthful (lucky you!) please bring photo ID with you. We’re really strict on this policy as our insurance does not cover under 18s. There’s no upper age limit, and we have skaters in their 50s and beyond!

If you’re under 18, look up Newcastle Junior Roller Derby. It’s for male and female skaters aged 8-17. It’s a great way to learn to play, and then you can join us as soon as you hit 18!

If you have any longstanding illnesses/injuries, you’ll need to show us a note from your doctor before we can let you skate.


Most kit (skates, helmets, knee, elbow and wrist guards) can be hired from NRG for £1.50 per session on a first-come first-served basis. This is a flat rate no matter how much kit you need to borrow.

Our kit supplies are limited so we recommend you bring as much of your own kit as possible, especially skates. Cheap disco boots will get you through the beginner’s course and can be picked up for around £45 new. If you have particularly small or large feet, we may not have any skates that will fit you. When we start doing contact, you will need to buy your own gum shield.

Costs and location

Sessions will take place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with venue TBC.

Each session is £5 for coaching, plus £1.50 if you need to borrow any kit.

How to join

If you want to take part in the next course, get in touch once we’ve put out information on the next session. We look forward to hearing from you!

We are also recruiting officials!
Skating officials will train with the skaters to perfect the basics of derby skating, before being coached by our Head Referee, Big Smack & Fries, in skills tailored to skating as a referee.

Don’t fancy skating but want to be involved in roller derby? We’re also recruiting Non Skating Officials (NSOs)!

If either of these roles sound interesting to you, drop our refs a line here:  refs@newcastlerollergirls.co.uk