It’s a passion that’s unmistakable…
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I need to do it,” said Stacy Donohue, a member of the DuPage Derby Dames.
“It’s addictive, it’s so much fun and you almost get this runners high, it’s so much fun,” added Alexis Lemieux, another member of the DuPage Derby Dames.
Believe it or not, these women are talking about the high contact sport of roller derby. It’s what a group of women, known as the DuPage Derby Dames, use as their outlet to exercise their body and minds.
“It’s a huge workout, yeah some girls wear their Fitbits and burn thousands of calories a practice. It’s really nice it keeps you in shape, I always say it keeps you from getting old,” said Linda McReynolds, a long-time member of the DuPage Derby Dames.
The game itself is different than most sports, with two teams comprised of five players each, playing both offense and defense at the same time.
The object of the game: have a designated skater, called the “jammer,” score points for your team by passing the other teams’ four skaters called “blockers.” The team with the most points wins.
“In one pass she can get up to five points if she passes all four blockers and the other jammer. So the jammer is the point scorer, she wears the star on her helmet and the blockers are trying their very best to stop her from scoring points on them,” explained Carissa Toerpe, a member of the DuPage Derby Dames.
While it may sound straightforward, on skates, it’s a whole other story.
“There’s four people that are trying to knock you off the track while you’re trying to knock them off the track, trying to get your jammer through, trying to stop their jammer, it’s chaotic, it’s crazy. But once you start getting it, it’s addictive, you can’t stop cause it’s awesome,” added Donohue.
But that’s not the only reason these women keep rolling with the sport. Anyone age 18 and older is welcome to try it out and may see there’s more to it when push comes to shove.
“It promotes a lot of really good things like body confidence, sisterhood, sports “woman ship” is that a word? And it’s just a great community, it’s a great family,” added Lemieux.
“Derby became this outlet for me to kind of empower me, and be strong to also do something fun and meet a ton of awesome people in the process,” said Holly Vossel, a member of the DuPage Derby Dames.
A sport that’s shown these women how to rise up after every fall.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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