Alex is a QA Technician here at the Molecule and had the chance to participate in this amazing advert for Sports England alongside her roller derby team the London Rockin’ Rollers. We were so enamoured of the piece that we asked her to write a little bit about the experience. You can read her thoughts below:
I’ve been skating with the London Rockin’ Rollers for about 6 years now and when I heard about an opportunity for members of our team to participate in a new This Girl Can campaign for Sports England I jumped at the chance. Before I tried out for the LRR “Fresh Meat” (beginners) program I couldn’t skate, was unfit and had barely done any real physical activity since school! School PE completely put me off sport, despite being a big fan of watching it, in those lessons there was very much a sense of “if you don’t fit the netball/field hockey/cross-country running box, too bad” (and spoiler alert: I was terrible at all of those things). After I started skating I became immediately aware of how much happier I am if I’m doing something that really tires me out a couple of times a week. I had more energy, a better mood and a massive community of amazing friends I could rely on. I now do other exercise and sports just to keep my derby skills up!
The first This Girl Can campaign was amazing to see. Even though that one didn’t feature any skating, it had exactly the same spirit and message that roller derby had for me when I started. Most women in the UK don’t carry on any sport after secondary school, and while there will obviously be some women who are genuinely not interested, I think in a lot of cases it’s because of a fear of what people will think. As women, society often tells us that it’s “unladylike” to get sweaty or that we should always look graceful. A lot of women will only exercise as a way to lose weight, rather than because it’s fun and makes you strong. And I love that the This Girl Can campaign has the same message as roller derby: that it doesn’t matter what size you are or where you’re from or how fit you are, sport can be really fun and you should just go for it and not care what anyone thinks. No one starts out great at anything! I spent the first few months of skating skidding about like bambi on ice.
One of the best things about doing this campaign was meeting the other awesome women contributing when we did the final group shoot. There were so many cool people there and we got chatting to everyone; from the ladies rugby team, to dancehall dancers, to a powerlifters. You can barely see me in the ad (if you freezeframe and squint I’m definitely there a couple of times) but my friend Lydia (Deadly DeVito) has taken the starring role repping the London Rockin’ Rollers. I’m 5ft 11 and she’s 4ft 10 – so if anyone says they aren’t the right build for roller derby they can come talk to us about it!