Well, I sure do! Which is why I am super excited to tell you more about the WFTDA’s international giving program called We Believe. This global giving arm was created to unite our wonderful roller derby community behind one global cause. We Believe is based on our shared belief that through participation in roller derby, individuals can change not only their own lives, but the lives of people around the world. Imagine the difference we could make in the world if the volunteers, skaters, announcers and officials of all 400+ WFTDA-Member leagues united together behind one cause? That’s hundreds of thousands of participants in roller derby raising their voices on the same issue. We Believe is that opportunity to work together on global change.
I don’t know about you, but roller derby has definitely changed my life. It has given me a community, a positive view of my body and how strong it is, and it has changed my life from being inactive in sports, to viewing myself as an athlete who works out 4/5 times a week. It has given me a team and an outlet. This sport has taken me all over the world. I truly believe that roller derby can change lives and I think that united, our community can share this type of change with the world!
Think about your career in roller derby, from when you started until this moment right now. How has roller derby changed your life? In what ways did it impact your own abilities, your desire to take initiative, your surroundings, your circle of friends, what you believed was possible for your life, and your self-esteem? And then ask yourself, do you believe roller derby can do that for others? Do you believe that involvement in this sport can change the world?? Is the answer yes? Cool! Keep reading.
If you were lucky enough to have been at champs in Philly last week, you probably walked by the We Believe booth. It was right next to the WFTDA merch booth and housed The Hydra for most of the time during the three day event.
If you were there, you most likely will have seen me or one of my colleagues on the WFTDA Board of Directors we were working the We Believe booth during the event.
We were fortunate to spend much of the event talking with members of our roller derby community about We Believe. We explained our partnership with UN Women, whose mission is to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide, and our commitment to raise over $15,000 for their “One Win Leads to Another” initiative, which uses sport to develop leadership and economic skills in young women and girls.
$5,000 of these funds are designated to cover costs for the first ever WFTDA Minimum Skills clinic for young women in Brazil, using basic roller derby skills to develop confidence in these new skaters in tandem with UN Women’s “One Win Leads to Another” program.
I really like this partnership, as the “One Win Leads to Another” initiative and UN Women fit so well with the values we hold so dear in roller derby. So it’s kind of perfect as the first program for We Believe.
Personally, I’ve learned and practiced my leadership skills on and off the track within roller derby, another reason why this program resonates so well with me. I can’t wait to see how the clinic goes.
So far this year we have raised just over $5,000 towards our $15,000 goal. That means we have $10,000 more to raise. As a fellow community member and a skater/official/volunteer in roller derby, I invite you to be a part of something cool, something bigger than all of us. I invite you to unite together and show the world that we believe roller derby can change the world by helping us raise awareness of this awesome program.
How can you help you ask? Right now you can go to WFTDA.com/donate and make a donation directly on our site – using a credit card, PayPal or by stating your donation and mailing a cheque. You can also purchase an exclusive “Roller Derby Can Change the World” t-shirt. The shirt comes in many different colours and prints and the link to purchase can also be found at WFTDA.com/donate.
In addition to making an individual donation, you could work with your league or a roller derby event you are attending to raise money. For instance, this past weekend I was playing at the first Skate Around tournament hosted by the Namur Roller Girls (Belgium) and they held a tombola/raffle. The money they made was donated to We Believe, which was an awesome way of contributing to this global cause.
If you’re interested in doing a fundraiser like this, please reach out to me so I can help! I can provide you resources and information, and help you get your donation to the We Believe program.
If you are from a WFTDA-Member league, have your skater rep keep an eye on the forum, as we are working on more ways for people to get involved. We will be posting about this before the end of the year.
If you have a company that wants to get involved, or you have some cool creative ideas, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I really would love to hear how roller derby has changed your world. Please leave a comment on this blog and tell me how!
Furrrocious started playing Roller Derby in January 2010 with Amsterdam Roller Derby. She has been involved in all aspects of the game. She has been heavily involved with the training and coaching inside and outside her league with different teams and boot camps. She has been coach for B.ADD, Amsterdams B-team and a coach and line up manager for the Dutch National Mens Team for several years. Furrrocious also went to the second women’s Roller Derby World Cup in Dallas in 2014 as one of the captains for team Netherlands and will go to Manchester again as captain of the national team. She is currently the Interim Secretary for the WFTDA Board of Directors and is still very active with coaching.