In 2008, a girl moved from the USA to Ghent, Belgium, taking along a lasting impression from a roller derby bout. This free-lance journalist wrote an article in the Flemish newspaper De Morgen about roller derby and included an open question to get in touch if readers were interested to form the first league in Belgium.
A few daring girls got together in a pub in September 2008, not knowing one another, but they got hooked to this yet unknown sport. From september 2008 until june 2009, small steps were taken: some practices, some new friends joining. Another former roller derby skater in USA leagues Big Easy Roller Girls and Carolina Roller Girls joined the team as trainer around the same period. Gradually, a real team was forming.
A newer member of that league, wanted to start something closer to her hometown, Antwerp. On the 4th of February 2010, the second league in Belgium was established. One of their members is now the founder of the league which was established one year later, in Brussels. It came only naturally that those three leagues shared their knowledge to the leagues that popped up all over Belgium; in Charleroi, Namur, Menen, Liège, Mons, Hasselt and Bruges.
Ghent hosted Belgium’s very first roller derby bout in January 2011, the same month they became the sixth European team to get accepted into WFTDA’s apprentice league program.
The first Benelux roller derby tournament will be organized in November and will take place in Antwerp.
Currently there are 2 Belgian leagues taking part in the European competition (euroderby.org), 6 leagues are preparing for it and playing friendly scrimmages, whilst the 2 newest leagues are forming, recruiting and getting ready for their first practice.