Cape Roller Derby: Looking For a Few Good Women

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Did you know that Cape Cod has a Roller Derby Team?

No, this isn’t a flashback to the 1950’s when teams were first forming across the country… Nor am I talking about watching re-runs of Charlie’ s Angels or The Fall Guy on Nick At Night.  I am talking about a team of women who meet every week in the warehouse behind the Cape Media Center in Dennis – and they are looking for a few more Jammers, Blockers and Pivots! Do you think you have what it takes to gear up in elbow pads, knee pads and helmet –and hot pants – and sweat it out with some fun and confident women? Then come on down!

About every 90 days, a “Recruitment and Meet & Greet” post goes out on Facebook from Cape Cod Roller Derby:  “A free evening of fun and snacks! A perfect night out with a friend! Learn how Roller Derby is played • NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!”

This time, I decided to see what it was all about. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly learned a lot. Although the Cape Cod Roller Derby team has only been around for a few years, Flat Track Roller Derby has been around for decades, and there is a Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) which began in 2004 as the United Leagues Coalition (ULC).

Previous to this, Roller Derby enjoyed its hay-day from the 1950’s into the late 60’s. Ownership and sponsorships began to shift from sport and athleticism to theatrics in the 1970’s and Roller Derby began to lose popularity and many teams were disbanded and disappeared into 70’s television archives.

Fast forward to June of 2016: I am in a warehouse in Dennis with a handful of other women ranging in age from 20-something to 50 years old watching the Cape Cod Roller Derby team push and pull and bob and weave around the track. “Mighty Medge” is giving us some quick background on the team and what is expected of team members.  She tells us again and again: “Safety first. The helmet goes on BEFORE the skates, for example”. There are elbow pads and knee pads, mouth guards, wrist guards and padded shorts (“Triple 8 RD Bumsavers”).

The entire team is rounded up for introductions. These are women from all walks of life: moms, sisters, teachers, bartenders, wash-ashores and students. I was mostly surprised at the age range. “You have to be old enough to be comfortable in your body”, Cha-Cha (one of the captains) told me. There aren’t many 19-year olds that can take full body contact sports and feel good about themselves when they are left rolling on the ground.

There also isn’t an average body type. I tried to come up with a way to physically describe the team. Basically, take a room filled with 30 women… Any room… Any place… Any given time. Some have tattoos and some don’t. Some have brightly colored fluorescent hair and some have natural brown. Some have Old Navy stretchy pants and some have sparkly hot pants! There was one thing these ladies all had in common: a sisterhood that made them crack jokes and hug and cheer each other on.  They also had cool nicknames like Thundercat, Cha-Cha, Polka-HauntUs, Gladys Nightmare, Gravy Digger and more!

Here are some short answers to questions that came up at the meet and greet:

  • Do you need to know how to roller skate? No.
  • Will you safely learn to skate? Yes.
  • Is Roller Derby physically demanding? Yes!
  • Will you get a great workout? YES!
  • Do you need insurance? Absolutely.
  • Will you meet and make lifelong friends on the track and outside the warehouse? You better believe it!

There was so much positive energy in the room that I understand 16 new recruits signed up at the end of the night – including our photographer here at CapeCod.com!

Are you curious? You have another chance to meet the ladies at the “Downtown Dennisport Block Party” on Saturday June 25th! You can also see them compete at various events around New England! The full schedule and more information about the team is available on their website: Cape Cod Roller Derby

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

Comments

  1. The Yarmouth Seaside Festival would love to have you participate in our parade this year. You can go to our website http://www.yarmouthseasidefestival.com to find the parade form. There is no charge and would be great exposure for you ladies.

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