Rolling Derby Revival
Roller derby darlings are skating into better health. Some local women say the health benefits are worth the bumps and bruises. Continue reading
At the Happy Valley Derby Darlins team practice, speed, strategy, and a few tumbles, can all be seen each week at practice. Covered with protective gear from head to toe, members of this league say playing the unique contact sport makes a difference in their health.
League captain and full-time worker Danielle Mahoney says she has seen health benefits from playing the sport. She grew up running track and field, but she says roller derby works every part of her body. “My body has never been as physically fit. I’ve weighed less, and probably wore smaller jeans, but I think I’m more toned,” Mahoney says.
The team dedicates their time to practicing several hours each week. Each hour of blood, sweat, and tears is one step closer to another derby match against an opposing team. With a lot of physical determination and drive, every player says they work on their endurance, core strength, and cardio levels, something fellow team member and firefighter Megan Walters says is worth the effort. “You’re getting a full-body workout like every night of practice, and it’s different every time,” Walters says.
Some of the players say they participated in sports when they were younger, while others did not. The women of this team say roller derby is a sport that allows them to blow off some steam at the end of the day. The sport allows them to release aggression every night at practice.
With a few pushes and shoves, the players say teamwork keeps practice enjoyable.Teammate Charlotte Malan says she hopes everyone who wants to play will take the time to learn the new sport. “Any size girl can do it. We have girls from a size zero to a size 24. Everybody’s at their own different fitness level so they push themselves to different extremes,” Malan says.
With each player dedicating their soul to playing the game, every team member say they know the rewards of exercise are what keep them rolling. The team says they haven’t had any major injuries that have kept them from playing. Only the occasional bumps and bruises means making a Facebook album of their black and blue beauties.
The team’s match against the Nevada East Roller Girls will be held this Saturday at Utah Valley University.