Do you already have your skate gang? The communities that sprung up around roller skating during the pandemic are one big positive connection that we can take away. People naturally gravitated together around their localities, with a few people leading the way. Friends of friends soon joined, the numbers snowballed and all of a sudden, when restrictions were lifted hundreds of people turned up to roller skate meet-ups.
Hopefully your group isn't quite that big just yet, and you still have a handle on it or maybe your group feels a bit out of control.
Either way, now is a good time for the founding members to decide what they want.
Outline your Values
Group founders - it's a good idea to make sure you are clear about the values you'd like to embody within the group. You may also decide to add some group guidelines around chat.
Perhaps you are starting to think about indoor space to skate in, rather than just meeting in a local car/skate park?
Lots of people like to be part of something but may not be particularly active in the group. This can be for a variety of reasons - they may have anxiety, not live all that close, are just seeing if the members of the group align with their own value system.
What kind of space are you aiming to create? We are clear that Roller Girl Gang is a safe space run by women for everyone. People are welcome, providing they abide by our Respect policy. Should anyone feel unsafe at any of our classes, sessions or events, we WILL uphold our boundaries. This is uncomfortable the first few times you do it; no-one likes to have conversations saying people are uncomfortable with your skate style; but we see it as a necessary part of developing a generous and caring skate community. Yes, we want people to express themselves on wheels, but not at the detriment to others' wellbeing, we would consider that selfish. Skate etiquette is something you need to decide for your group and communicate clearly.
If you're a group of friends looking to share a hall and split the cost between you, that's fairly straightforward.
You just need to ring around local sports halls or community centres, see when there is space and book it. Split the cost between your group members who are able to attend. You may also want to cap the numbers to ensure there is plenty of room for everyone to skate.
A scary little word about liability - while it's lovely when everyone starts out, roller skating IS a high risk activity (from an insurance point of view.) A high number of people who take part in skate-related activities end up seeking medical advice due to injury. The last thing you want is for a fun activity, started with all good intention to end with a life changing injury. If the worst was to happen, the person booking the hall would be considered the responsible one. If you are selling tickets, rather than just splitting the cost, you are setting yourself up as a business. Even if it is not-for-profit, community or a charity. In this case, you would be well advised to take out public liability insurance. While most people are very realistic about the level of risk associated with roller skating, you can never know who is walking through your door or their background and injury history. It only takes one very serious injury to end up with you being sued for negligence... and the fun activity you wanted to provide for skaters in your community suddenly is very scary indeed.
We always try to leave the rooms we hire in better condition than we found them. That may mean we need to sweep the floor in advance of our skate session or pick up litter. It may mean we re-stack chairs neatly. We also want to have a positive relationship with the venue. Leaving the room late, untidy or leaving noisily (some venues in built up areas ask folks leaving late at night to please leave quietly) can make you a less favourable hirer of the facilities. Should you want to re-book, you may suddenly find there is no space for you.
We are also keen that roller skaters are seen as a force for good, rather than a nuisance!