With Saturday’s bout between the Lehigh Valley Hissy Fits fast approaching (mark your calendars it is March 19, 2011 at the Independence Family Fun Center in Schnecksville). I am thinking about what I can expect when I witness my first derby competition. I have been doing some preliminary research to get prepared. Aside from watching old clips from Laverne and Shirley and the more recent film, Whip It, I have learned there is more than meets the eye with these girls. Sure they may appear at first glance to be tough, tattooed, knee high wearing bad girls, but take a peek below the surface and you will find they are engineers, PhD’s, college students, mothers, wives and more, all sharing one thing in common, a love for this resurrected sport.
When asked what draws these diverse women to roller derby, the unanimous response is the feeling of empowerment and the resulting sisterhood that is a direct by product of this full contact sport. Make no mistake, this is a high energy, aggressive sport and it will test your mettle. Tough competitors on the track, most of these women are friends once the skates come off. I wondered how you can body slam your friends? Their response is how can you not? It’s an integral part of Roller Derby. These women skate to win and hard feelings are at a minimum.
The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls are a self supporting team “for the skaters, by the skaters,” as their motto proclaims. Drawing attendance figures of roughly 300 – 500 people per bout, this is a sport that has been rapidly growing since their humble beginnings back in 2006.
The coming weekend will provide plenty of opportunities to get to know the LV Rollergirls. First up the Hissy Fits will take on the Central New York Roller Derby, Saturday March 19 at their home track, the Independence Family Fun Center located at 4345 Independence Dr. Schnecksville, PA 18078. Doors open at 5pm and the bout starts at 6pm. Get there early to secure a good view as a large turnout is expected. Tickets are $10 (advance) $12 at the door (Kids 10 and under $5 advance, $6 door) and can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/155063 all tickets are general admission, standing room only (Chair rentals are available for a small donation or feel free to bring your own). BYOB, no glass bottles please. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society -Relay for Life.
Can’t make the bout? The Rollergirls move the action over to Grumpy’s Bar-B –Que Roadhouse in Mechanicsville immediately following the bout for an after party featuring the electric blues of guitarist Todd Wolfe. Grumpy’s is located at: 3000 Mauch Chunk Rd. (610) 769-4600. http://www.grumpysbbq.net/
If that wasn’t enough these busy women will be participating Sunday, March 20th in the 54th annual Allentown St. Patrick’s Day parade, the oldest and bar none best St. Patrick’s Day parade in the region. The parade steps off at 1:30pm in Allentown’s West End be sure to get there early to snag a prime spot along the parade route. For parade route and other information check out: http://allentownstpatricksdayparade.com/
Come out and meet your Lehigh Valley Rollergirls this weekend and keep checking back for in depth interviews and continuing coverage of all the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls excitement. I will have a full report following the weekend activities. A team of strong women with guts and a heck of a lot of heart, who provide positive role models for young girls and other women. This is definitely a sport I can get behind. See you on Saturday!
Tune in tonight to the Matt Metal show on 90.3 WXLV at 7pm where his special in studio guests will be members of the LV Rollergirls. Stay tuned for a chance to win tickets to Saturday’s bout!
by Deb Boylan, Lehigh Valley Rollergirls Correspondent
Photos from the Roller Girls Facebook Fan Page