Reporter Kaitlin Boysel strapped on some roller skates to find out what it's like to be a "derby girl" with the Electric City Roller GrrrlZ, and filed this report:
“Roller derby is roller skating and rugby and football and chess while bricks are being thrown at you," explained 10-year veteran Casie Steinert.
But don’t let that stop you from trying this out. “You’re going to find out that trying new passions is really great and that is why you should try roller derby," she said.
Let’s look at how it works: “Flour blockers on each team and their job is to play offense and defense at the same time. They skate together in a group called the pack. Then you have a jammer that has a star on their helmet and her job is to score the points. She is kind of like the football, each team is going to help their jammer while trying to prevent the other jammer from getting through."
New skater Joy Attaway said she sees this as something for herself: “Honestly, it’s really empowering, it's shocking how empowering it is."
And she finds fulfillment playing the sport: “You feel so hardcore by doing this and learning how to be safe, but also knock people over on four wheels." She added, "But you have to be willing to take the risk and fall, I think that’s something totally mental, but you learn and its gets easier every time."
They are always looking for new people to participate - both on and off the skate floor, such as referees, ticket takers, and concessions.
They will host a "fresh meat" boot camp on Tuesday, February 11 - anyone who is interested in either participating or just learning more is welcome to attend. It will be from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at the Wheels Of Thunder skating rink at 1609 12th Avenue North.
The "derby girls" also take pride in helping the community; their website explains: "Not only do we spend time on the track skating, hitting, and trying to score points, but another integral part of roller derby is our involvement in the community that supports us. Each year we participate in a multitude of different events in and around the city of Great Falls, as well as participation in Highway cleanup on a section of highway out side of Cascade, MT, go shopping for toys to donate to the Toys for Tots program. Giving back to the communities that support us in important for us to share our gratitude to everyone who supports not just our league but also the sport of Roller Derby."