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New York City-based roller derby league leaves practice space following pandemic concerns | amNewYork

New York City-based roller derby league leaves practice space following pandemic concerns

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, a New York City roller derby league is leaving their practice space and has no immediate plans to find a new one as of yet.

On Oct. 1, Gotham Girls Roller Derby announced that they are leaving their practice space and will be withholding on signing a lease for a new space, citing the pandemic’s impact on the league’s finances as well as the uncertainty around New York City’s reopening.

Following the safety guidelines set forth by WFTDA, the governing body of roller derby, Gotham has suspended all in-person programming since March to keep their players, volunteers and audiences safe. The organization is continuing to follow mask and social distancing guidelines set for by the city and state. After serious consideration of the financial resources needed to support an eventual return to play, have decided to operate without signing a lease on a practice space.

“Gotham exists whether or not we have a permanent space. We will continue to offer digital programming through our Twitch channel and updates on our social media. With our newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, we will use this time to address diversity and inclusion issues in our league and community,” said Gotham in a press release. “We are grateful for the support of our members and community.”

The nonprofit has developed a three-phase strategic plan to help us survive, then revive, and thrive, focusing on the key pillars of capital, community, and communication. Elements of this plan include:

  • Offering virtual programming and in-person skating programming, when it’s permissible to do so, following the science-based return to play guidelines set forth by the WFTDA, the governing body of the sport, along with abiding by local city and state guidelines

  • Establishing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives

  • Finding opportunities to partner with the wider NYC skating community 

  • Building connections with leadership in other roller derby leagues and non-profit organizations 

  • Creating new revenue streams and ensuring sustainable funding sources

  • Moving into a new permanent space by January 2022

For more information about Gotham Girls Roller Derby, visit www.gothamgirlsrollerderby.com. The organization can be followed on their Twitch channel, twitch.tv/gothamrollerderby, as well as on Instagram and Twitter @gothamderby.

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