Seattle Derby Brats has experienced exponential growth since its inception and continues to grow as more skaters discover the thrill of roller derby. And when skaters join the SDB family, their families usually “join” as well through participation in numerous social events and volunteer opportunities. Whether a derby expert or new to the sport, parent volunteers are the lifeblood of the SDB organization, serving as coaches, referees, team parents, and active Board of Directors. SDB maintains financial stability with revenue derived from a variety of sources, including membership fees, merchandise sales, bout admission, and fundraising. SDB’s fundraising efforts include corporate sponsorship; skater-driven events, such as skate-a-thons and bake sales; and raffles.
Seattle Derby Brats is committed to every skater. We won’t ever turn a skater away due to a lack of financial means. About 10% of skaters receive need-based scholarships. SDB has also covered additional costs to ensure that finances are never a barrier to participation.
As a 100% all volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Seattle Derby Brats truly commits every resource to our programs and our kids.
How it all began
Way back in the mists of time…in 2007…the Pathfinder K-8 School in West Seattle (an alternative, option school) started a program to teach skating and derby. When staffing changed and the school had to end the program, Betty Ford Galaxy stepped in to save the day, moving the program to Bellevue Skate King… and forming the Seattle Derby Brats, the second junior roller derby league ever created in the U.S.
The early years
In 2008, SDB practices moved to Lynnwood Bowl & Skate. In 2009, SDB began sharing the Rat City Roller Derby‘ practice space in Ballard: The Rat’s Nest. The league now had skaters with a wide enough range of ages that it was divided in half: Tootsys (Turquoise Terrors and Orange Crush, yes named after the REM song) playing positional, and Juniors (Ultra Violets) playing full contact. At the first Rat City bout at Seattle’s Key Arena, both Tootsys and Juniors did halftime scrimmages.
The movie Whip It was released in 2009. By 2010, roller derby was getting to be so popular that SDB needed to hold their first tryouts for the league. This was the year that the league launched New Skater Camp.
With roller derby continuing to grow in popularity by leaps and bounds SDB expanded yet again in Fall 2016, by launching two new Tootsy teams, Acid Pops and Lemon Drops. And in Fall 2017 SDB split the UltraViolets from Div 2, making them a second competitive travel team. Junior Roller Derby is thriving in the Pacific North West where Seattle Derby Brats has one of the largest junior roller derby leagues in the country.
In 2015 the Galaxy claimed their first national title by winning the Female Division JRDA Championship. In 2016 & 2017 they successfully defended their title to become three-time National Champions. They remain ranked in the top 5.