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DERBY DAZE Continued from page 15


Her love of derby grew so that in December 2010, she quit her job as an accountant to open her skate shop dedicated to all things derby.


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“I learned to balance derby with real life,” she says. “And now it is my life. Since I opened the shop, it’s all day, every day. I have to keep up with trends, products, game play … but I love it.”


Promoting confi dence and community Based on the number of teams around the world, countless others feel the same passion and love for the sport. For many, derby is an enjoyable activity and a great way to make friends.


“It’s fun,” Allen says. “It’s made me stronger; it keeps me active. It’s important to me because the whole group of girls is so close.” “It brings in people from so many walks of life,” Pearson says. “For a girl who is new to town, has no friends, derby is the best thing that’s happened to her. The skaters are so passionate.”


More importantly, derby is empowering and promotes confi dence. It acts as an outlet and a form of stress management.


“Yeah, I have seen derby get people through bad times,” Pearson says. “I have seen people who didn’t have much of a life before derby, and now they don’t know what they’d do without it. I’m defi nitely not the same person I was fi ve years ago.”


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Derby does not only promote self- esteem and confi dence, it also encourages participation in the community. Most teams give portions of their bout proceeds to charity, and derby girls have been spotted at local food banks sorting canned food and passing out meals at local homeless shelters. “Derby is a good thing,” Pearson says. “We like to stay involved through volunteering. I think it’s good because we’re giving back to charity, and we’re defi nitely doing something outside the norm.”


The future of Oklahoma derby The women of derby hope the sport is here to stay this time around. Women must be 18 or older to participate. In fact, one Oklahoma player known as “Faery Mean” is 59 years old and skates for the Oklahoma City Roller Derby team.


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“We are out promoting all the time because we don’t want our sport to go away,” Pearson says. “At this point, we’re going strong. As long as we have an audience, we can keep going. We’d like to retain girls longer than two or three seasons. Eventually OKCRD would like to play at the Regional Playoffs, or maybe even Nationals.”


Tulsa’s Green Country Roller Girls will be the fi rst Oklahoma derby team going to


Regional Playoffs held in Kansas City, Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. The Oklahoma team will play on Friday, Sept. 30. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) covers leagues in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kansas and New Mexico. For more information, visit http://wftda.com. Now, with such an enormous interest in the sport, even men and children are starting their own teams.


“Oklahoma City’s men’s and junior league are not under OKCRD,” Pearson clarifi es. “They are just a brother and sister league. I’m excited for them because derby builds confi dence – it’s something unique. It’s good that derby’s growing.


“I hope derby eventually goes to the Olym- pics,” Allen says. “I think derby is defi nitely here to stay.”


Female teams: • Oklahoma City Roller Derby Tor- nado Alley Roller Girls and Lightning Broads, Oklahoma City • Green Country Roller Girls and Thunder Dollz, Tulsa


• Oklahoma Victory Dolls and Battle Squad, Oklahoma City


• Central Oklahoma Roller Derby •Angels of No Mercy, Stillwater OKC Outlaws (formerly Red Dirt Re- bellion) banked track, Oklahoma City • Enid Roller Girls, Enid • Arbuckle Derby Darlings, Davis • Mountain Gateway Sisterhood of Steel, Poteau • 580 Roller Girls, Lawton • Darkside Derby, Lawton


Male teams: • Wolf Pack, Oklahoma City • Tulsa Derby Militia, Tulsa


For more information:


To check out Switchblade Skate Company, visit www.switchbladeskate. com.


For more information on the South Central Regional Playoffs, visit www. showmederbq.com.


For a complete list of rules and how the game works, visit www.wftda. com. OL


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