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Kids who helped save Skateworld upset after rink cuts Youth Derby Program

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 20:41:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Some long-time roller derby kids are upset after Skateworld management announced their Youth Roller Derby program was cut.

Many of these kids were instrumental in the "Save Skateworld" campaign in April. When Skateworld was on the verge of being turned into a big box store, they were there.

"We got out of school the day of the City Council meeting," mother, Meadow Beidler said.

Armed with their skates and signs, dozens of roller derby kids convinced San Diego City Council to vote to save Skateworld on April 8, 2019.

"We really thank the kids for coming out and making their signs," Skateworld general manager, Brett Stang said.

His father Gary Stang started the rink in 1975. It has been a Linda Vista institution ever since. Earlier this year, when a developer shared plans to turn Skateworld into a big box store, the derby kids rallied and protested for days.

Little did the kids know, that the home they just helped save, would essentially kick them out.

Beidler is a proud "Derby Mom" of three fierce girls: "Cheshire Splat," "Hot Sauce," and "Zoom Zoom Kaboom." But now, she doesn't know if she will keep that title.

"We don't know if we are going to be able to continue with derby," Beidler said.

Days after the city council vote to save their rink, Beidler says her girls were suddenly told that their Youth Derby program would be cut. Management explained it was due to administrative reasons.

"The way it went down it was just heartbreaking," Beidler said.

The kids were told to join another club instead.

"We haven't been able to give that derby team the attention it kind of deserves," Brett Stang said. "They've been bumped for private events and other slots, so there is another team out there, 'Derby United,' who offered to take our program under their wing."

But Beidler says the problem is that Derby United's new facility in La Mesa has not started construction. She also says Skateworld's prices cannot be beaten.

"If we were to continue that and do derby at this new location that hasn't been built yet, then it would cost my family an additional $240 a month," Beidler said.

Her girls are now so distraught, they cannot even speak. After all they did for Skateworld, they feel unappreciated.

"Having our kids getting excited and politically motivated and going on camera and speaking from the heart how it is family," Beidler said. "They feel very betrayed."

Skateworld's management told 10News, although they are closed on Mondays, the kids could have Monday practices if parents and coaches work on an agreement. But hosting home games on the weekends would be tough, considering their free skate schedule.