Com­rades in skates take to the track to have fun, raise funds

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - HER FITNESS - Story by Lind­sey Wells, pho­tog­ra­phy by Grace Brown

We em­power each other and sup­port one an­other. I love that we are from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, age groups, and are able to come to­gether as a team. It’s re­ally some­thing spe­cial to be a part of,” she added.

The cur­rent group con­sists of women ages 22-54, and one male, a soon to be ref­eree-in-train­ing.

Men can par­tic­i­pate by act­ing as a ref­eree or work­ing be­hind the scenes, but will not ac­tu­ally skate in a bout un­less they are a ref­eree.

Skaters can ei­ther pick or earn their derby name, and many women develop an al­ter ego at­tached to derby.

“I al­ways had ‘Reck­less Texas’ in my back pocket but I wasn’t sold on it,” Carter said. “I def­i­nitely live up to the ‘reck­less’ part of the name. I also hail from Texas and I’m ob­nox­iously proud of it. I threw the name in the ring one prac­tice night and the girls said, ‘That’s the one.’”

In ad­di­tion to Reck­less Texas and Blitz Ven­tura, other Downtown Derby Dolls’ names in­clude Toast Malone, Smash­mouth Bar­bie, Stylee Wylee, De­ciBelle, Colt 45, and Rain­bro-Brite.

Carter said team prac­tice con­sists of work­ing on ba­sic skat­ing skills such as skat­ing pos­ture, speed and en­durance. They also prac­tice their stops, fall­ing and re­cover tac­tics, block­ing, and tak­ing hits, which she said is the “fun part.” Be­cause roller derby is ex­tremely phys­i­cally de­mand­ing and has a high po­ten­tial for in­jury, the team cap­tain teaches them ex­er­cises to do out­side of prac­tice to con­di­tion their bod­ies for the sport.

In­di­vid­u­als in­ter­ested in join­ing the team must pass a min­i­mal skat­ing re­quire­ment test and a writ­ten exam. Carter said the skat­ing re­quire­ments are taught in the team prac­tices twice per week, and while they do go over rules and reg­u­la­tions, it’s up to each in­di­vid­ual to put in the ex­tra time study­ing the rule book.

Visit the Downtown Derby Dolls Facebook page for more in­for­ma­tion.

Lau­ren “Stylee Wylee” Styles

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