Harrisonburg roller derby team trains for upcoming tournament
Knee pads, check. Helmet, check. Mouth guard, check. Before each practice, the Rocktown Rollers gear up and warm up as they train for their upcoming tournament against Northern Virginia.
are a non-profit roller derby team aimed at supporting local businesses and charities. From college students to moms, the team is made up of a diverse group of women, all with the common interest of skating.
"I felt like I wasn't getting any younger. I always enjoyed skating and my kids were skating at the time and I said, you know, I have my kids skating because I want to skate. I decided to go to Derby 101 and then just kept coming," said "Bad Mom" of the Rocktown Rollers.
The roller girls pick a unique, derby name for themselves specific to their personality and derby style.
The overall goal of the game is to earn as many points as you can by passing the opponents on the rink. The blockers are focused on stopping the opposing team from passing them. One of the blockers, "Sadie Masochist," competed in the World Roller Games, winning a gold medal with Team USA.
"My whole team gave me so much support and when I found out about it I started crying. I actually found out I made the team here. I was timing a girl and I had my phone in my hand and I got the email. I've never had so much support in my entire life," said "Sadie Masochist" of the Rocktown Rollers.
Skaters say the best part about the sport isn't the sport itself, but the team.
"They're just an amazing group of people, always supportive. It's a really nice break from studies and school life. I come here to get all my stress out and get a good workout at the same time," said "Sting Rae" of the Rocktown Rollers.
The team will donate a portion of their ticket sales from their upcoming tournament to Cats Cradle in Harrisonburg.