by Chris Singer
Finding the warehouse where the Sick Town Derby Dames practice on a dark, rainy and snow flurrying night in Millersburg was a bit daunting, but one would be crazy to deny that it indeed provides the perfect backdrop for a women’s roller derby team.
As I got out of my car, I could hear the echo of the roller skates and the thudding sounds of bodies reverberating off the concrete floor and walls of the warehouse.
I wonder if anyone noticed the huge grin on my face as I witnessed for the first time, the menagerie and spectacle that is a women’s roller derby scrimmage.
The scrimmage was a warm up for the upcoming Sick Town Derby Dames league season which kicks off this Saturday with an intra-league bout pitting the Sick Town skaters facing off against each other.
The bout starts at 6 p.m. on March 10th at the Linn County Fair & Expo at 3700 Knox Butte Rd. in Albany. Tickets are $13 at the door or $10 in advance. You can get advance tickets at The Uprise Skate Shop and Aqua Seafood and Steaks in Corvallis, and at The Cash House in Albany. You can also purchase tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
This is a family-friendly event featuring half-time games for kids, a kids craft table, food, Ninkasi beer and wine.
My roller derby tour guide that night was ‘Bones’. She’s the president of the Sick Town Derby Dames. Although I’m a roller derby newbie, I could tell by the end of watching my first scrimmage that she was perfect for roller derby – tall, lean and fast, ‘Bones’ was a natural for the position of ‘jammer.’
With ‘Bones’ as my guide, I learned that players are eligible to play for Sick Town at the age of 21, but there’s a wide range of ages participating in the league. On the night I witnessed the scrimmage, there were several women in their mid-40s playing and playing well.
Besides the variety of ages among players, another thing you notice immediately about roller derby is the diversity of shapes and sizes among participants. This basically ensures that almost anybody can participant and get involved with a roller derby team. This fits in perfectly with the Sick Town mission of “providing an opportunity to participate in roller derby at the amateur level while also experiencing a welcoming, strengthening, and accepting form of self-improvement.”
The Corvallis Advocate will be providing season-long coverage of the Sick Town Derby Dames.