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Skate Nation: get your rollergirl on

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skate-nation-2I don’t know about you, but every now and then I just want to relive the glory days. Friday nights, on skates, at the disco.

There is no doubt roller skating is undergoing a resurgence in popularity. With Canberra’s reputation for roller derby awesomeness and our thirst for all things retro, the advent of our very own roller rink was inevitable.

Skate Nation is here, and it’s epic. Housed just around the corner from Fyshwick Markets, on Leeton Street, the rink is set to become quite the destination. Sharing space with Adrenalin Boardstore, who are also designing a year round indoor PowderPak ski and snowboard jib park; and incorporating Eight Track Skate Co., there are big things to come.

I met with one of the six owners of Skate Nation, Deborah Hill, you might know her as Canberra Roller Derby League‘s (CRDL) diminutive Bambi Von Smash’er. It was with delight she showed me around and talked me through plans for Canberra’s first roller skating rink since the 1990s.

One of the first things that struck me was how incredibly on-trend the place feels – recycled timber, exposed bricks, painted concrete floors and creative paste-ups. The second thing I noticed was the disco ball. Shimmering, beckoning me to roll away the decades and don’t-stop-til-I-get-enough.

The backstory won’t come as a surprise…Christine Murray, Paula Chemello, Amy Edwards and Deborah Hill met while playing roller derby with CRDL (you may know them better as ShortStop, Ova Bearing, Amykazeee and the aforementioned Bambi von Smash’er).

Late in 2013 the fabulous four started up Eight Track Coaching and Training and began delivering SkateFit to Canberra at various venues about the place. Their derby prowess has also seen them deliver coaching to roller derby leagues around in neighbouring regions.

With a dream of a rink Skate Nation was born and they added to the mix two more CRDL gals, Melissa Robinson (Miss D Meaner) and Stacey Breen (Stace of Emergency).

These ladies know first hand just how much fun can be had on skates…and they want to share it with all of us!

And for those of you who are looking for a new party venue – stick this one on your list. The back section of the building has been set aside as the ‘party room’. The red carpet has been laid and there are plans afoot to offer catering sometime down the track. In my mind, Skate Nation will soon be the go-to place for kids’ parties, hen’s nights, 70s revival nights…and so on. It will be the place our kids reminisce about when they are our age!

Don’t have your own skates? A sneak-peak inside the skate hire section, which doubles as Eight Track Skate Co., revealed an abundance of brand, spanking new skates, by Crazy. Trust me, these hire skates are nothing like the tepid and slightly moist skates you might associate with the ice rink (and if you don’t know what I mean, just think about bowling shoes!). Everything is shiny and ready to roll. All safety gear is optional, you skate at your own risk. Being a skater myself, I can’t recommend safety gear quite strongly enough. It’s not dorky, it’s cool. If Shorty and Ova do it, so should you! Eight Track Skate Co. have everything you need, from helmets and mouth-guards to skate tools and wheels.

With a long Canberra winter approaching, outdoors sporting activities really lose their appeal, am I right, parents? Skate Nation has arrived just in time to save you from all of this…and when Bambi mentioned Adrenalin would be starting up a cafe, I’m just counting the days!

For more information about what’s in store for Skate Nation plus SkateFit and SkateSTARS, click on the links!

the essentials

What: SkateFit
When: 7pm – 8pm every Monday and Wednesday
Where: 5 Leeton Street, Fyshwick

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2 Responses to Skate Nation: get your rollergirl on

Erin says: 14 May, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Awesome news – I’ve been waiting for someone to open up a new rink, and these girls are certainly qualified!

I want to have my 30th here, as a throw back to my youth – it would be so fun!

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