Student derby members are on a roll
Once a week, several CNM students meet at the Heights Community Center to hone their speed skating skills and toughen up for the Duke City Derby.
Exercise Science major and Derby Public Relations Representative Vanessa “B. Tona Brat” Valadez-Anderson said she heard a local radio station broadcast promoting the derby. Shortly afterwards she started to play herself and has been a member of the derby for the last two seasons.
“I had actually fantasized about playing roller derby when I saw “Rollergirls” on A&E. It’s a dream come true that I’m actually here now,” said Valdez-Anderson.
The athleticism is her favorite part of the sport even after never playing sports before the derby said Valadez-Anderson.
Her team, The Doom Dames, had been on hiatus for the 2011 season and are now back for the 2012 season, said Valadez-Anderson.
“I am looking forward to making everyone proud and happy that the Dooms came back,” said Valadez-Anderson.
Education major and Captain of the Hobots, Ivy “Maria Von Scrapp” Graham Dewers said she has participated in the derby for almost two years. She started after a friend told her about it and the “Rollergirls” documentary.
“After seeing the documentary I decided to give it a try,” said Dewers. “It also got me up and out after a family loss. It kept me going.”
Dewers said she is very excited for the 2012 season, and can’t wait for it to begin.
“My team is pretty new and we have a lot of work to do, so it will be exciting to watch us grow,” said Dewers.
Former Business major Gretchen “Max the Arctic Blast” Nosbisch said she has been active in the derby for two and a half years. While recovering from a serious back injury that had threatened her ability to walk, Nosbisch saw an ad in the Alibi for derby tryouts.
“I decided to email them and tell them I was bored and wanted to play,” said Nosbisch.
One practice was all it took, she bought her equipment the next day and hasn’t stopped playing since, she said.
Nosbisch said there were several reasons why she fell in love with the derby from being physical and the challenge of a constant changing strategic game.
“Our league is truly about the love for the game and the respect we hold for each other and our fans,” said Nosbisch.
Business Administration major Ariel “Ari D. Onya” Murphy said she has been involved with roller derby since 2009 after seeing the derby girls at the Rock the Ink Tattoo convention.
“They all looked so happy and welcoming,” said Murphy.
A member of the Munecas Muertas, Murphy said her favorite part of the sport is the action-packed bouts, and the adrenaline rush they provide.
Medical Laboratory Technician major Susan “Razor Blaze” Burris said she has been involved in the derby since 2007.
Burris said she has been skating all her life and absolutely loves the derby from the physical aspect to the friends she has made over time.
Burris said another aspect of the derby she treasures is the option to drop in on other league practices if she is traveling.
“It’s such a great family atmosphere. They welcome you with open arms and are usually curious to get to know you,” said Burris.
Burris said roller derby is a sport of empowerment, and it has helped her in her personal and physical life where all the players are brought together as a family.
For more information, go to dukecityderby.com, or visit a weekly practice at the Heights Community Center from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday’s and Friday’s.