Roller Derby is oftentimes misunderstood – when it’s brought up, it’s often associated with aggressive women who are out to make trouble and cause mayhem in the roller rink. Resurrection Roller Girls are proving these stereotypes wrong…and then some.
It may surprise even long-term Rohnert Park residents to find out that Roller Derby is alive and well at the Cal Skate off Commerce Blvd, and that the Resurrection Roller Girls have been holding a Roller Derby Boot Camp which started in May. The boot camp is open to everyone – no skating experience required.
Far from being a group of miscreants, when watching practice begin, what you’ll notice the most often are the smiles. Every person who shows up is greeted warmly, and hugs are freely given.
When speaking with the team’s CEO, Kitty MaulHer, about what the goal of the Boot Camp is, the answer shows a genuine concern for women to feel empowered, “We want to give women the opportunity to find themselves on the track – to learn their abilities as well as their boundaries. This is a great opportunity for women to build a camaraderie with others they may not have envisioned themselves socializing with before.” When asked if she’s seen changes in individuals who’ve signed up for boot camp with no previous experience, she broke out in a big grin, “Oh yes, it’s amazing to watch. You see these women come through the doors, shy and inexperienced, then they have some time out on the track with us and become savage and fantastic.”
The love for the sport becomes evident when asking any of the Resurrection Girls about examples of personal injuries or emergencies they’ve had while skating. Venus Envy spoke up about breaking her leg on the track about three years ago, and not letting it stop her from being there Monday, May 29 with her skates and helmet on, “Sure, it was scary getting back out there – but my daughter [who would have been around 5 at that time] wanted to learn to skate, so when I healed, of course I had to show her. She’s 7 and does Jr. Derby now – she absolutely loves it!”
Observers are welcome to drop by to watch, especially if they’re thinking of trying out. But be careful; especially gregarious members of the team, like Organ Trail, will do their best to get you on the floor to, “just give it a try!”
The Resurrection Girls were founded in 2011, and you may be surprised that this is the first time you’ve heard of the boot camp. Outside of a flier or two at Cal Skate, the camps aren’t widely advertised. Depending mostly on word-of-mouth to get the message out, they welcome all new recruits.
There are generally around 17-20 people who come to these boot camps, and all with varying levels of experience. If you’re looking to see how well you’d do as a Roller Derby girl, check at Cal Skate in Rohnert Park for more information. Loaner gear and skates are provided. There will be an opportunity to try out to join the league at the end of boot camp.