Breaking down barriers to sport with Warrnambool Roller Derby.

At Beyond Bank, we know firsthand the big impact we can have when we support community groups. As a customer-owned bank, we’re committed to supporting the people and clubs that make our neighbourhoods stronger and more vibrant.

And that’s why we support groups like Warrnambool Roller Derby, a community sporting club that’s picking up speed. With a grant from the Beyond Bank Australia Foundation acting as a catalyst for their growth, more people are discovering a sense of belonging and community with roller derby.

Amid the resurgence of roller-skating popularity during the 2020 lockdowns, an exciting window opened to launch the sport in Warrnambool. The club now offers programs for fun, fitness, and full-contact – with the latter relating to the highly competitive world of roller derby. 

Warrnambool Roller Derby has a strong focus on reducing barriers to skating and fostering an all-inclusive, safe and welcoming skating community. But at $200 for an entry-level pair of skates, it was difficult to get new community members involved. 

“One of the biggest barriers we find, especially for kids and families, is the financial barrier,” said Amie Hargreaves, Club President at Warrnambool Roller Derby. 

When Beyond Bank awarded the club a $4,000 grant, Warrnambool Roller Derby bought 20 pairs of high-quality derby skates. This allowed people to come and try skating without having to invest in their own pair of skates, breaking down the financial barriers of getting started with the sport. The new skates have also enabled the club to run Roller Discos as fundraising events. 

“It’s meant a lot for us. It’s rapidly built our club and expanded our memberships. It took us from being a select group to being really open to the community,” said Amie. 

The club is on a mission to create a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQI+ and Trans communities.  

 

“Derby really prides itself on being inclusive... and active inclusivity – not just accepting people but going out of your way to make it more comfortable for everyone to be involved,” explained Amie. 

 

 

(L-R) Beyond Bank's Community Development Manager Grant Howland celebrates the arrival of the new skates along with Warrnambool Roller Derby Club President Amie Hargreaves, Coaching Coordinator Rose Ceratos, and Beyond Bank Senior Relationship Manager, Sophia Ngo.

Grant Howland, Community Development Manager at Beyond Bank’s Warrnambool branch, has been helping to guide the club through the type of banking products that are useful for a small club that’s just starting out. 

“We've been really amazed. Grant (Howland) is really involved. He's brought his daughter along to a session and everything! He's really keen to see where we're developing and what we're doing,” said Amie. 

Beyond Bank is the bank for community groups. We’re committed to keeping our branches open in regional areas, like Warrnambool. Our staff aren’t just bankers. They’re volunteers, mates, parents – and they’re passionate about making a real difference in the community.  

“These sort of contributions that Beyond Bank are making to the community - I’d want the community to know how valuable they are in developing amenities and bringing them back to small towns when we've lost so much,” said Amie.  

What’s next for Warrnambool Roller Derby? They’re focusing on inclusivity for people with physical disabilities. By creating their own skate frames, they’re furthering their commitment to become a place where everyone feels welcome and accepted. 

The best bank for community groups.

We understand the important role community groups play in our society. Sporting groups like Warrnambool Roller Derby are important to creating safe spaces and weaving the social fabric of our communities. That’s why we're focused on being the best bank for the community. Our Community Development Managers, like Grant Howland, make banking, fundraising and accepting payments easy for your community group.

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