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