According to the Trevor Project, 78% of trans and nonbinary youth were the subject of discrimination due to gender identity. Only 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth have played sports due to fears around how others would react to their identity, policies preventing them from playing on a team that matches their gender identity, or a lack of confidence in their coaches (only 4% of LGBTQ+ youth athletes reported that they would talk to a coach if they were struggling). Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ youth who have just one affirming adult in their life are 40% less likely to attempt suicide. The need for sports leagues with coaches who are LGBTQ+ or committed allies could not be clearer.
Rose City Rollers aims to address this need by developing training curriculum that educates and equips coaches on trauma informed care, inclusive coaching approaches, and conflict resolution and facilitation. Once these trainings are created, our goal is to make them available across the derby-verse, so roller derby leagues (and other sports leagues that would benefit) can access the materials they need to support LGBTQ+ youth athletes and foster an anti-racist culture. The importance of these resources cannot be stressed enough as we face a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and outright hate. The is an urgent need to provide sports opportunities for at risk youth that are led by coaches who share marginalized identities. Radically affirming sports are a key to the health and wellness of youth in Portland and beyond.
We are currently developing comprehensive coach training modules that will cover technical skills, conflict resolution, and trauma-informed coaching. This revolutionary coaching program will empower our coaches to become advocates for safe and inclusive spaces on and off the track, allowing them to better mentor and support our community and youth and adult derby players.
Stay tuned for more updates!