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.