Rose City Rollers (RCR) founder, Kim Stegeman helped launch a new gear lending program for female teenage roller derby players at the Oaks Amusement Park Hangar on May 9. The new program, Rent n’ Roll, will benefit the RCR’s junior league, the Rosebuds, who will have access to free skates and safety gear.
Stegeman wanted to provide more opportunities for young women to participate in roller derby who might normally not been able to without financial help. The safety equipment and skates can cost anywhere between $250 and $350.
CatlinSpeak spoke to Rosebud, Kallisti Kenaley-Lundberg about the program and she commented, “I can’t express enough how amazing this is. It is going to allow so many people to do derby because the gear is not cheap!”
Stegeman wrote a grant proposal and was awarded $9,000 from the Nike Employee Grant of the Oregon Community Foundation. She was also able to get a steep discount from Riedell Skates and find sponsors to build a storage area for the equipment.
One interesting aspect of the program is the emphasis on responsibility. The program offers an upgrade to higher quality skates once girls have borrowed and returned gear on six consecutive occasions. Stegeman hopes this program will increase the number of skaters and will allow for more girls to join the sport, while also encouraging responsible behavior.