Meet Carla Smith, co-founder of Rolla Skate Club and recipient of Founders Fund’s $10,000 grant:
Who Is Carla Smith And What Is Rolla Skate Club?
Being active has been Carla’s passion since her days of ballet and field hockey. “At University, I tried out for the rowing team on a whim. Turns out I loved the camaraderie of the team, and how we had to overcome our physical barriers every single day at practice, together”.
Fast forward to 2007 when, new to Vancouver and looking to connect, Carla found the Terminal City Rollergirls and fell in love with the sport. “I’m obviously drawn to the team aspect of sports. The bonds between friends are always strongest when you’ve had to overcome physical and mental challenges together. Roller Derby has never stopped challenging me and it has forged a community of confident, inspiring women who are family to me. I’ve made the friendships of a lifetime.”
And that’s exactly what Rolla Skate Club aims to continue:
"Rolla Skate Club is building a bad-ass community of empowered women on wheels.
We’re bringing together women of all ages, skill levels, economic status, personal and gender expression.
We’re building strong, fair and empathetic leaders because we know that strong, confident women can change the world."
What Are Your Plans For The Funding And What Does This Funding Mean To You?
“Wind in our sails as we look to the next stage of growth for Rolla Skate Club!” says co-founder, Carla Smith. “Being selected as a finalist [has] validated my ability to tell the story of Rolla Skate Club [and] being selected as the grand prize winner gave me a huge boost of confidence. This pandemic has been devastating to our industry and so it feels so incredible to get a win like this!”
What Has Rolla Skate Club Been Up To Since?
Carla and the Rolla Skate Club team have been building out a really fun, accessible Virtual Learning Program so that anyone wanting to get a roll on learning to skate can start right at home. From basics and beginners to experienced roller-skaters, Rolla Skate Club has built out over 200 classes thus far- including some Rolla-Dance classes that look incredible!