Bullying and harassment have no space in roller derby

The Coaching Department at DRRD has been actively working with the topic of harassment and bullying and how to prevent them for a long time. The Department has, however, been especially active in this regard during the past year, since the study about harassment and bullying (in Finnish. A summary of the key points is available in Swedish and English also) in our sport by SUEK/Luisteluliitto was published.

As one concrete action, all Finnish-speaking members of our Department have now taken or will take the Et ole yksin online training which aims at creating a safe environment for sports and offers guidelines on how to prevent and tackle bullying and harassment. More info: https://etoleyksin.fi/ (in Finnish and Swedish).

The Coaching Department at DRRD used the training as a starting point for a critical discussion about our own activities. We also suggested various concrete actions to other actors within our league. Some examples include surveys on practices and well-being as well as opening a low-threshold feedback channel for our members. All our league activities are guided by our official bylaws, our strong core values as well as the Code of Conduct approved by our membership.

We would like to challenge all derby leagues in Finland to boost their work against bullying and harassment. Let’s share good practices, learn from each other, admit it when we mess up and roll together towards a brighter future!

DRRD turns 10 years in The Doomed Year – 2020

As we all know, year 2020 seemed pretty normal at first. In late February, both DRRD teams, the A and the B team, played a game in Peltola. In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit Finland at full force. DRRD immediately cancelled all practices and we were able to return on skates only in June and to full contact only in August. In November all practices were cancelled again due to the worsening situation in Varsinais-Suomi.

DRRD A vs HRD B in February 2020. Photo: Marko Niemelä.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, DRRD got two new transfer skaters from Hamburg in August 2020! Here’s what one of them, Randa Lena, has to tell about her experience in joining our league during such a weird time.

“I joined DRRD in the second half of 2020, the year of Covid-19 and also the year of the 10th anniversary of the league. Coming right out of German Lockdown with only a few weeks of non-contact training during summer, I was quite happy when I heard that Dirty River had just started full contact training.

It was a joy to play real Roller Derby again, not only in practices, but also in the 10 year anniversary scrimmage the league held on September 12th in Kupittaa. According to my new teammates, they originally planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary with a big tournament and many international guest teams that weekend. Unfortunately this was not possible, like so many other events that should have happened, but didn’t.

To celebrate at least on a small scale, we played an intraleague scrimmage and were even able to have some audience there! Of course, we made sure the audience was separated from the team all the time, to reduce the risk of infection.

Even though it was not the big tournament it should have been, being able to play publicly against other people in a setting that very much felt like a real game, was a great experience after all those months. There were not many players, we barely got two full line-ups, but it was fun and very challenging.

In the evening we had a little get-together, this time privately, in a small club house the league had rented. Again, the group was small, but it was a very nice evening where I got to know some of the league members a little better.

Unfortunately, the golden age of real Derby didn’t last long. The coaching department sensibly decided to go back to non-contact training in October when the second wave of the pandemic rolled over Europe, including Finland. Even though the coaches got very creative to make practice still fun and special (e.g. football on skates), the undeniable highlight of that time was the Spooky Skate Event, where beginners and advanced players dressed up in Halloween costumes for skating around the sports hall and eating spooky snacks together.

The winner of the best costume prize at our Spooky Skate Friday. Photo: Marjo Lundén.

Understandably, many members of the league were not comfortable with coming to regular practices and meeting people despite the non-contact training, which made it much harder to really meet everyone. I got the chance to spend time with some people at the Moomin World in Naantali, though, where we raked leaves and carried wooden planks to raise funds for the league. League fundraising isn’t something we do in Germany. Seeing that DRRD does it on a regular basis is a new and exciting thing for me, and also gives me the chance to look behind the curtains of some places and events in Finland, which I probably wouldn’t be able to do if I weren’t part of this team.”

As Randa Lena mentioned, DRRD also turned 10 years in 2020. We were supposed to celebrate it in a lot of different ways, but had to cancel most of those plans. But hey, how about an 11th anniversary party next autumn?

DRRD’s 10th anniversary logo, design by Hanna-Leena “Kille” Partanen.

Nobody knows what 2021 has in store for us, but we know already that the year has started with the pandemic still going strong and many restrictions still in place. Many are already so tired of this pandemic, but we at DRRD are keeping our hopes up for a better year. DRRD has existed for 10 years now. And you know what? There will be a time when this phase was indeed just that, a phase, a short phase in our history. This is not the end of anything, it’s a phase. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

Autumn beginners’ course

It´s time to start a new speedy hobby called roller derby – Sign up for the beginners course! And don´t worry, it will be super fun!

What: Beginners course starts on Oct 7 at 8 pm
Schedule: Wednesdays 8-9 pm and every other Friday 7:30-9 pm
Where: Ilpoisten palloiluhalli, Lauklähteenkatu 15, Turku
What I need: Own gear (more info below)
Cost: 65 €
Sign up: HERE

Sign-up for the beginners’ course is now open! The course starts on October 7th and you’ll need to have your own gear to participate. The best place to shop for gear is our partner, Finland’s one and only derby shop Jam in the box. You can also check second hand options on Facebook. You’ll need skates, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and mouth guard.

The age limit for our beginners’ course is 16 years, but otherwise there are no requirements. You are welcome just as you are, whether that’s a couch potato or a super sportsy person. Spots are limited so sign up quickly! More info: beginners@dirtyriverrollerderby.com.

All participants must agree to and behave according to our values.

OPEN SKATE September 20th: Come & try roller derby!

Come & try roller derby! Dirty River Roller Derby is looking for new skaters, referees and non-skating officials. This event is free of charge and open for all genders. You must be at least 16 to attend but otherwise there is no age limit!

What: Roller derby open skate!
When: Sunday 20 September at 2 pm
Where: Ilpoisten palloiluhalli, Lauklähteenkatu 15, Turku
Price: 0 €! It’s free!

You’ll get to try the skates and other gear, and you don’t need to know how to skate or have any background in sports to attend. Everyone is welcome! Wear comfy sports clothes and bring a water bottle with you.

Our next beginners’ course starts on 7 October. We will post the sign up form in this event later.
Questions? Ask here or send us an email: beginners@dirtyriverrollerderby.com – we speak English!


We will have an intraleague 10 year anniversary scrimmage at Kupittaan palloiluhalli on September 12th. Audience is also warmly welcome at 1:45 pm. FREE ENTRY!

However, there will be no contact with the audience and the skaters. We will monitor the COVID19 situation and cancel the event if necessary.


Come coach us!

Dirty River Roller Derby is looking for coaches for the season 2020-2021!

DRRD has two teams, and in 2020-2021, if COVID-19 pandemic situation permits it, the A team Föri Fighters will play in the Finnish National League (SM-sarja) and WFTDA sanctioned games both in Finland and in Europe. The B team Åbo B-ajs will be continuing in the Finnish Roller Derby’s 1st Division and in addition to that aims to play both scrimmages and games both inside and outside of Finland.

You can apply to do different coach tasks that suit you the best – you can for example bench coach, plan and run practices, or run a bootcamp. We are looking for different persons with different strengths and interests. You can apply by sending an email to DRRD’s coaching department rep: hanna-leena.partanen@dirtyriverrollerderby.com.

Please tell us about yourself, about your roller derby and/or other sport experience/knowledge, what kind of coach you would be, and how you would be able to commit to the coaching of the team(s). Mention also whether you would like to coach both our A or B teams or just one of them. We also expect you to read and commit to our values. You can apply until 16 August 2020!

Fun Skate Friday 22.5.2020 – online!

Need something fun to do during the quarantine? Join our Fun Skate Friday on 22 May! While we cannot physically skate together at the moment, we can still go skating inside or outside and share our happy feelings on social media. Check the Facebook event for more info.

Here’s how it works: go skate and have fun on May 22nd and take a picture or film a video of it. You can add the photo/video to the Facebook event and mention if DRRD can post it on our social media channels. Alternatively you can participate by posting your photo or video on Instagram using the hashtag #funskatefriday. If your account is public, we will then share your post in DRRD’s Instagram Stories!

Patented moves from previous Fun Skate Friday in March. Pic: Jari von Behr

DRRD’s face-to-face activies take a break due to covid situation

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all DRRD practices, beginners course and other activities requiring face-to-face contact are suspended until further notice. All meetings will be held via video. All our games scheduled for this spring have also been cancelled.

We are doing everything we can to help slow down the spread of the virus. This is to protect those in high-risk groups and to reduce the burden on our health care system. However, we are keeping in touch via internet, training at home and supporting one another. Let’s stay strong together during these unusual times!

We will resume practices and other face-to-face activities as soon as it’s safe again. We are hoping to organize a beginners’ course in the fall as usual. If you are interested in joining us, do not hesitate to contact us! We are here to answer any questions you may have.

If this situation or e.g. the loneliness caused by it causes you anxiety and you need help, the national crisis helpline offers service 24/7 at 09 2525 0113 (Arabic & English) and 09 2525 0112 (Swedish).