It’s been a while since I have done an interview here on BHP but I thought I would make it up all you readers out there by creating a super interview. I have been wanting to do this for a while now and thank the fine women who make up the Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls.
Seeing women of all shapes and sizes skate as a pack on a oval track is indeed something that everyone needs to see. With music playing, announcers calling out the match, and the fans cheering their team the bout is just as entertaining as any other sport out there.
Just in case you have no clue what I am talking about, I speak of roller derby. Specifically women’s indoor flat track.
If you have not heard of roller derby you are missing out. Maybe you live under a rock or just don’t get out much but roller derby is a pretty big deal. Don’t agree? Check it out live at least once, I promise you will think differently.
Not only do the girls skate their hearts out all season long but they also get involved with charity and local organizations. Honestly, out of all of the sporting events I have been to in my life I have never seen the wholeheartedness that is seen during a roller derby bout. When you go to a match you are also going to a fundraiser of sorts with the money collected from the raffle tickets and beer sales sold by the roller derby grils during and after the bouts.
Last October I attended a roller derby match at the Summit County Fairgrounds. The bout was between the Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls and the Buffalo, NY Assault City Roller Girls. Along with a nice sized crowd, I cheered the home team on to a victory. It was actually the final bout of the season so not only was it a pretty important win for the team but also a start to a well deserved break.
For those of you who do not think roller derby is a sport you really need to reconsider. The girls wear helmets just like football players do, elbow and knee pads like pro skaterboarders wear, and mouth guards (do you see what I am going here?). To top that, their playing grounds are flat concrete surfaces where they compete to score points by pushing, blocking, and shoving the opposing team.
I watched girls fall hard on to the concrete that night only for them to get back up and jump back in the game. A couple of them took falls so hard I don’t think I would have gotten up myself but they were in it to win it and brushed themselves off and jumped back in the game. It was an exciting event with the fans going crazy and both teams trying their hardest for a win. When all was said and done the final whistle was blown and the Rock n Roller Girls finished their final bout of the year with a victory.
So who are these girls? Some are moms and wives, some are students, and many carry successful full time jobs. They are people just like us and they do not hide their secret of roller derby status like they belong in Fight Club. They are good people with families and friends with their own lives outside of the rink.
Regardless of what their day gig is or how they live their lives, they all are part of a sport where practice is mandatory and teamwork is key. When the team comes together they become their own supportive family not only helping one another but also helping the community.
Recently I had the privilege to get some questions answered by a slew of the wonderful girls of the Northeast Ohio Rock & Roller Girls as well as a couple of their referees. Instead of interviewing one team member I decided to interview as many as I could. Be prepared, this is a long read…