Katie Olson, Editor-in-Chief
Looking to join a full contact sport that combines football with roller-skates? Look no further than the North Texas Roller Derby League. Currently the league consists of 70 members who come from all walks of life including students, alumni, and even Sunday school teachers and hair dressers.
North Texas Roller Derby General Manager Kasey Isik, also known by her derby name as Ruby Soho, has participated in the league for four seasons. She describes that some of the appeal of the sport comes from the film “Whip It” and the image of the roller derby girl. However, the initial pull makes way for a deeper love of the sport.
Isik explained: “Once you get into it, I think that just the adrenaline you get from being able to skate and being able to do all the fancy things on your skates. And you’re tough, you just have to be tough.”
The team practices for two hours until dark at Denia Park. To sign up, members of the league pay $25 to skate in the league, or $5 to skate for one time while signing a safety waiver. Students are encouraged to join, even without previous skating experience or gear, according to Isik.
Isik said: “We teach you from the ground up. We have loaner gear; we have loaner skates. If you show up and you have nothing we only ask that you bring a mouth guard.”
She added: “We will train you with zero experience to be skaters.”
The North Texas Roller Derby League consists of three home teams: The Hickory Street Hooligans, Main Street Mafia and the Muertas Locas. The three home teams play against one another during home season and in a championship tournament. The league also consists of a traveling team known as the Fighting Unicorns, who have traveled to Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma to compete against other derby teams. Although some injuries are involved in roller derby, Isik identifies them as normal hazards of any sport.
She shared: “Broken ankles happen. Broken legs happen. It is a full contact sport. You have to be prepared for that, but at the same time, four seasons I have never gotten injured.” Despite the risks of injury involved, Isik describes the sport of roller derby as an invaluable experience, especially in terms of the personal connections made among team members.
“It’s just an array of different people. We all come together and have something in common and there’s just a camaraderie. The feeling of being a part of this league has been welcoming and warm and you just don’t want to let it go,” she continued. Ultimately, the experience provided by the North Texas Roller Derby League shapes the individuals who take part in the full contact sport.
“If there’s anybody that has ever thought about it and thought ‘I could never do that because I’m not cool or I’m not strong or I’m not athletic’ I’d say that there’s a ton people that are in the same boat and they’re some of the best skaters that started with zero experience at anything at all. You get so much out of it, it’s a life changer,” Isik concluded.
For more information on the north Texas Roller Derby League email firstname.lastname@example.org