jesshullinger

Roller Derby: A Preview

In Community, Economy, Roller Derby on May 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I turned the roller derby story in to HELEN this morning.  Here is a short excerpt of the story:

…The gym where I’d watched the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls practice was transformed into a stadium so packed, there was standing room only.  A huge sign hung from the rafters, welcoming guests into The Brawl House. The fans were outrageous, cheering over the bumping music, waving signs, “LBD” painted on their cheeks.  The most daring spectators sat in the “suicide seats,” located at the corners of the track, where girls on skates were most likely to tumble into the crowd.  “You have to be 18 years or older to sit there and you better have good insurance,” the DJ warned the crowd.

The players were introduced as their derby aliases while the crowd cheered, not unlike how basketball teams start their games.  Jessica Cain stood on the sidelines, her arm still in a sling from a recent injury, egging her team on.

The Brawlin’ Dolls took an early lead.  Team jammer Jen “Van Jam” Renfrow flashed a smile to the crowd as she rounded a corner ahead of the pack, and the crowd rewarded her with deafening praise.  “That’s what I’m talkin’ about ladies!” Cain hollered from across the track.  At halftime, the Dolls were up 82 to 59, and Coach Abby Phagan encouraged them to keep it together.  With four minutes left in the bout, the Flint City Derby Girls were just three points behind the Brawlin’ Dolls. Skates were screeching, girls were falling and rolling and viciously checking one another…

Pick up a copy of the next issue of HELEN magazine, which comes out in June.  The magazine was hit hard by the economy, and recently lost one of its founders.  The other, Sharon Martin, is trying to keep the magazine alive and is juggling all the work herself. Despite her attempts at rallying public support, membership is wavering. This is a magazine that caters to the needs of local women and displays their accomplishments for the city to see.  Even if I weren’t writing for HELEN, I would encourage people to support it, anyway.  Membership is only $45 a year.  For that you get six issues of the magazine, invitations to members-only events, and the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a local publication that inspires women to be themselves.  Become a member.

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  1. I love to see derby pictures. It’s like no other sport!

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