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Roller Derby fights to find their place

By Christine Maersch


Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The basement of Chumley’s bar looked a little different on Sunday, Feb. 21 around seven. Instead of the normal Sunday crowd, the chilly basement was full of women. Women of all shapes and sizes, styles, and ages (many with their accompanying guy-friends) who all gathered to hear what the creator of Greensboro Roller Derby, Aubrey Lockard, 22, had to say.

Walking in, the girls were a little hesitant, much like the first day of your childhood dance class or soccer practice. Everyone was nervous and yet extremely excited to hear about the future of this dream. Each girl filled out a basic information card, which included their suggestions for a team name, and headed over to the leather couches to hear what the hot pink and black clad, Lockard had in store.

“By the looks of how many people are here, we can probably have as many teams as we want,” laughed Lockard. “Which is awesome.”

“I want to thank all of you for showing such huge support,” was the catalyst for the ongoing positive energy that was thriving throughout these women. With each statement, there was a response, both positive, and suggestive. Each girl truly wanted to help make Lockard’s vision a reality, and their input was proof.

Among these 71 women in attendance, there were three members of the Carolinian Rollergirls team which hails from Raleigh, North Carolina. These three women took on the role of, “Big Sisters” in the sense that they were able to answer questions on personal level, and can relate to the place Lockard, and her hopeful team is at.

“Carolina Rollergirls started out with five girls in a bar who just wanted to play roller derby,” explained Betty Rumble. “So by the amount of popularity you guys have, you will have no problem getting people involved.”

Lockard emphasized the amount of dedication, involvement, and joy comes from being on a roller derby team, “I only played on Winston-Salem’s team for about two months, but I really got into it,” she boldly explained, “And I really hope you guys get into it as much as I did.”
Lockard seems to be right with this idea of dedication, since these girls were coming from all over the Triad to be involved at this interest meeting. Many of the girls came from Greensboro, Winston, Burlington, High Point, and Asheboro, and many of them had never played before, but all wanted to be involved.

“If you’ve never played before, you’ll want to start conditioning now,” said Lockard. “After your first practice you will hurt in places you never knew you could, so it’s best to ease into the training.”

The team plans to practice several nights during the week to give all the girls a chance to attend at least one a week. “I understand that you guys have lives, and kids, and classes, but you can’t just not show up because you don’t feel like it. If you don’t feel like practicing, then you won’t be able to play,” explained Lockard.

“I’m not going to have slackers on my team.”

Over the past two weeks the team has been having impromptu skate sessions around the area. Since they are still lacking a solid practice spot, they have been traveling around and hitting open skate sessions as much as possible. Each day the Greensboro Roller Derby Facebook page is busy with girls setting up sessions within their area.

“Even without a set team, we are already starting to act like a team,” explained Lockard with a proud smile.

Also, during the meeting Lockard reiterated the fact that every little bit of effort people can put in (even if they aren’t interested in playing) will help. Whether people would like to sponsor them, help them get even more organized, or even just cheer them on and spread the world will help.

The brand new (and I mean brand new) website, has more information on how you can help out the team and stay informed.

The process of creating a roller derby is long one, in general it takes about two years for group to go from an idea, or an approved team, but Greensboro Roller Derby is heading in a positive direction. They have recently been added to the roster of amateur derby leagues around the world and are beginning to work with the WFTDA to be added as an apprentice team and eventually have a league of their own within the WFTDA world.

Lockard closed the meeting with a message to her team, “This is going to take awhile but I want you to realize that I’m not going to backdown on this project, hang in there with me and stick it out. I know in the long run this will be a successful team.”

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