Student Shares How Roller Derby Impacts Her Life

May 14, 2018

Everyone knows about football and cheerleading but a lesser known sport is on the rise. Roller derby is a female dominated sport played with two teams of five.

“Roller derby is a full-contact sport that we play on quad roller skates. The whole point is for the jammer, the only one that can score points, to lap all of the other players on the track as many times as possible in two-minute jams,” senior Meg McGraw said. “The way the scoring works is you get a point for each person you pass.”

This sport is rapidly growing all over America. The reason is largely due to the fact that female empowerment is on the rise across the nation and showing no signs of slowing down.

“I think derby is an amazing sport. It really allows women to create a family bond with others because you have to be able to trust them so much on the track. From what I’ve seen it gives women a huge outlet in order to express their true selves in a judgement free zone,” senior Jacquelyne Beard said.

Trust is definitely a large part of being successful as a team while playing roller derby. In order for the game to work correctly, players must be able to practically read each other’s minds to create walls to stop the other teams’ jammer from scoring points.

“I have always been really athletic. I like difficult sports. This is my first contact sport and to me, it has been a lot of getting out of my comfort zone and becoming a little more outgoing. I took up a lot of leadership roles really quickly for a sport that I just learned about and just learned to play. I started roller derby just a little over a year ago as Bambi on skates and couldn’t do anything but now I just captained a game last weekend in Nashville,” McGraw said.

This sport has enabled McGraw to grow in more ways than one. She has become more outgoing and more of a leader and gained more confidence in her herself.

“Since Megan started roller derby, I have seen her become more confident within herself.
When she started derby, you could see her really grow into her true self, it has allowed her to find herself. I think adding derby into her life has really made Megan into who she is today,” Beard said.

Overall female empowerment has become a tone of the decade and this sport is a good representation of that. Although a bit painful, the sport is also fun and a great way to get exercise and increase strength.

“As much as it hurts I love the contact of it. It’s really the only sport where females are allowed to just go out and hit each other almost like football and it is accepted. Sometimes it’s looked at in a more derogatory light but, if you look at it for what it really is, it is just a female sport where we get to be tough and hit each other to show others how strong we are,” McGraw said.


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