A new glitter-covered, leg-warmer-wearing experience has rolled into Bargara.
That’s right, Roller Disco is back at Nielson Park, so make like Olivia Newton John in Xanadu and strap on those skates.
At Nielson Park that tradition harks back to the 1940s, when the outdoor skating park was the entertainment venue to visit.
Rum City Derby Dolls president Sharon Golding organises the event alongside Marc Obrowksi and his Girlfriend Lynila Capulong.
Sharon said the weekly skating event happened by chance, with the group using the rink to train following the temporary COVID-19 closure of roller derby.
“It all started with the Rum City Derby Dolls hanging out at Bargara's old skating rink on Saturdays,” Sharon said.
“We were using it to maintain our skills, while also adhering to social distancing rules and whenever we skated, we found people loved it, and more and more people came.
“The girls attracted other skaters and then the action really took off when I brought a big boom box with an extra-kitschy disco ball on top.”
Roller disco reborn at Bargara
Every week the group of regulars and new skaters have flocked to the iconic rink, and many are quite aware of the site's historical significance.
Even today, when Sharon, Marc and skaters congregate to boogie their way around the rink, there are still vivid memories from residents who remember its history as a famous place to have a boogie on skates.
“Socialising with us are often residents who share their stories from the 60s, 70s and 80s when the rink included skate hire and even live music,” Marc said.
“It was the place to go for Bargara's youth, but sadly went out of fashion in the 90s, and its commercial operations finally closed.”
“Probably no-one would have thought then that the crowds, the music and the dancing would come back today.”
Beginners, intermediate and advanced skaters are welcome to roller disco, but dressing up is encouraged.
“We have the boom box, which is set up in the middle of the rink and the music starts and everyone starts skating around and dances if they want to,” Marc said.
“It’s completely open, it’s not a club or a group or formerly organised event; this is just people who want to skate to music.”
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