The Southern Delaware Rollergirls have been building their first team over the past year, gathering women from all over Sussex County, preparing for their first bout on Saturday, September 8 and the chance to be recognized as an official Roller Derby team in the region.
An unfamiliar sport to many, roller derby is played on a flat track with teams sending out five players at a time. The object is for one of the players, the “jammer” to completely as many laps , going counter clockwise around the track to score points while the defense the “blockers” try to prevent this.
The team will be competing in their first bout, which they are calling the “Uncivil War: North vs. South,” against the Diamond State Rollergirls, a team that is located in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday, September 8 at the Milford Skating Center.
“The bout is so important because it’s giving back to the community. We’re actually going to be playing and kicking butt,” said Southern Delaware Rollergirls President and Coach Angela Colone.
Even with the rivalry, the derby community is always there to help each other out, and they all want to see each other succeed. Before the bout takes place next month, the Southern Delaware Rollergirls will host a Skate-a-thon this Thursday, August 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Not only will the event help prepare the team for their bout, but the bake sale that takes place throughout the Skate-a-thon will raise money to help out “Thoroughbled”, a Charm City Rollergirl.
“On the track, you can be a superhero, or vent by tearing up the floor,” said Colone. “The team becomes your second family. For some, it’s their only family. [Roller derby] helps you feel better about yourself.”
Roller derby is a way to create friendships and support women who come from all walks of life. There are teachers, retail saleswomen and doctors who all come together to accomplish goals and challenge themselves. Some have full-time jobs or attend college. No matter where they come from, the members can take on a different persona when they put on their skates and hit the floor.
Helping to establish these new personas, members choose nicknames for themselves. For example, teacher and mother Angie Colone, better known as Ms. Angie to her students, is GoreLee Girl when she puts on her skates. For Colone, she views roller derby as she does wrestling, which is not just about the competitors getting beaten up.
“You wonder how are they doing all of it and not crying… They are out there and happy to keep getting back up,” said Colone. “[Roller Derby is] an infection; it spreads and it’s all you can think about.”
The Southern Delaware Rollergirls will leave all of their hard work on the floor during their first bout at the Milford Skating Center on Saturday, September 8 at 6:30pm. For additional information and upcoming events visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SouthernDelawareRollergirls.