LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — What does empowerment look like? For the Lafayette Roller Derby team, it's a pair of skates, athleticism and an open mind.
On Sunday, more than 30 roller derby athletes came out to practice at Legacy Courts in Lafayette. They’re getting ready for their fall opener on Saturday, Oct. 5.
“We're all from different socioeconomic statuses, we all have different professions, we're stay at home moms, we're professors, we're teachers like business people and it's really nice here just to like come together and we all get along and skate and hit each other and we feel better afterward,” said Lafayette Roller Derby athlete Valerie Krutsinger, also known as Smashmatician on the court.
This game requires two teams to compete against each other. One team's goal is to push through the players on the other team and each person they pass equals one point. Although hitting isn't the main premise of the game, it happens.
“It is a competitive sport and we are athletes so a lot of times people think that they're going to come and see girls fighting. There's no fighting in roller derby, you know, there's hitting but only legal hitting,” said Emily Usher who goes by The Ace of Skates at roller derby.
Beyond the game, the Lafayette Roller Derby team works to raise money for non-profits in the community. The YWCA Domestic Violence Intervention & Prevention program will benefit from their first game of the season.
Smashmatician said the more players the better.
“We're women empowering women and we like to build people up so it's really nice seeing all these incoming skaters,” said Smash.
Lafayette roller derby teammates say you don't have to come with any skills, all you need is an open mind and a willingness to learn.
“Whether you have 10 years of skating experience or you've never bought skates before, we welcome and encourage you to come and we teach people how to skate, we teach how to play and, you know, it is fun,” said Ace.
The first game of the season will be held at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 6 p.m and the game starts at 7 p.m.
The Lafayette Roller Derby team will post information about up coming boot camps for people interested in joining. You can message the group on Facebook for more information.