Rome’s own Roller Derby team, the Rome Roller Girls (RRG), fought valiantly against the URGE from South Carolina in their home match this past Saturday, July 14th, at Fun Wheels of Rome off Calhoun Hwy. The bout was close, and it came to the final few minutes to decide the score 158 to 146 with the URGE on top; although the final score is only one factor of many that go into a great roller derby.
RRG ticket sales for their July 14 match numbered in the few hundred with tailgaters arriving at the skating rink two hours before the 8pm bout: it seems that Rome has found a new sport providing an alternative game to the professional Rome Braves.
”A lot of the ladies either never got to play steam sport as a kid or were able to play soccer and volleyball in high school, and this gives them an opportunity, as adults, to go out and do a physical team sport”, says a Roller Derby husband from the URGE team.
While the women of RRG participate in an alternative game that does not mean their dedication is much different; their weekly schedule consists of a full three hour practice the day after a match and have regular mandatory practices throughout the week. As a non-profit organization RRG receives no compensation for their bruises -or wins. Instead the RRG split ticket sales with Fun Wheels taking only enough for travel costs and rent for practice space. For other expenses including food, equipment, and advertising they must rely on family and roller derby friends.
Moving forward with the season RRG will focus on the less fortunate as well as themselves. They have an eleven month schedule from January to November and there is little time for off-season community work. They compensate for their lack in downtime by coupling fundraisers with activism. In the past they have held rummage sales that benefit the March of Dimes and other prenatal care charities, and predict to follow in the same vein for the rest of this year. For the next season RRG plans to keep the excitement high, and community service central in their all-female sport; which is something new to the area on more than one level.