IOWA CITY — Playing roller derby was probably the best decision I ever made.
I like being active and I always have had a competitive streak. Three years ago I walked into an elementary school gym and met eight women — with no idea of what I was doing.
Now I have a position on the league board, coordinate public relations, help coach and train six hours a week. I thought I was just getting into a full-contact sport. I didn’t realize I would have a hand in running a business as well.
Most people who join the Old Capitol City Roller Girls have very little skating or even an athletic background, so we train them to have the skill and knowledge they need. We are required to wear knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet and mouth guard and learn how to hit and fall safely. A lengthy rule book keeps the game fair and safe, so injury happens less than one might think, although there is always the risk.
Our All-Star team has a hefty schedule this year, traveling as far away as Ohio next month. There are five home bouts at the Coralville Marriott, including Saturday against the Des Moines Derby Dames. Our newly formed “B” team, the Rockstars, just participated in their first bout with more to come as the season moves forward.
Bout day is amazing.
The intensity of getting hit, giving hits and all the strategy involved is intoxicating. It also is more than just competition since we are the ones running the whole event. We can draw in anywhere from 500 to 900 people, and have lots of loyal, amazing fans.
After bouts we share a few drinks with the people we were just demolishing on the track, and they become your new best friends.
Roller derby is an opportunity to work hard, create something with your own hands, travel, network across the world, grow confidence or even find yourself. It can be very different for each player but almost all find a part they love.
Go to our next home bout and see what you think and, if you dare, put on a pair of skates and try it for yourself.
For more information on the Old Capitol City Roller Girls All-Stars
go to www.oldcapitol
You can follow
oldcapitolcityrollergirls)and Twitter (twitter.com/OCCRG). Edwards also writes a blog, deadwards.blogspot.com