Sports

May 10, 2012

Fort Irwin roller derby gets ‘heavy’

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By Ken Drylie
Fort Irwin Public Affairs
derby1
Kalyn Smith, Geana Cossota and Renee Mora of the Heavy Arm-Her roller derby team practice at Freedom Fitness Center Center May 4.

There is a rebirth of sorts going on, and a part of it is happening right here at Fort Irwin.

Roller derby was extremely popular in the 1930s and 40s, but almost completely disappeared in following years, in part due to decreased popularity of scripted matches and rehearsed drama.

Modern roller derby is back, and is the fastest growing female sport in the world, according to Renee Mora, founder of the “Heavy ArmHer Roller Derby” team at Fort Irwin. Moss, who skates under the alias “Ta Kill Ya Trixi,” explained the appeal of derby.

“This is an activity that is just about you, it’s all about female empowerment,” she said.  “We get out here, we skate, we have fun together, we have this camaraderie, it’s just a sisterhood.”

Moss’ love of the game is shared by the team trainer and coach Kalyn Renee Smith who skates as “Lil’ Red Riding Dirty.”

“It’s very feminine, and yet it’s a hard core sport at the same time, so that’s totally appealing to me,” said Smith.  “It’s just a really great group of people that get rid of all the stressors of everyday life, and you’re not thinking about anything that’s been bothering you, it’s just fun and intense and a great workout.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

The basics of derby are simple. Two teams of five skate for two 30-minute periods. Each team designates a scoring player, called a jammer, to try to pass players on the opposing team. The remaining players are called blockers and try to prevent the jammer from passing them.

Modern roller derby has become an international sport dominated by all-female amateur teams.  However there are a growing number of male, co-ed, and junior roller derby teams. Derby is also under consideration to be included in the 2020 Olympics.

On military bases, it’s growing because it’s a sport military spouses can pick up and take with them from post to post, Moss said.

Prospective skaters, new or experienced, are welcome to learn more about the sport by coming to a practice session at the Freedom Fitness Center every Friday at 6p.m. The team can also be found on Facebook, or emailed at heavyarmherrollerderby@gmail.com.




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