The Gem City Rollergirls (GCRG) are Dayton’s only skater owned and operated flat track roller derby league. Like a lot of other leagues around the country, the formation of the Gem City Rollergirls was inspired by the airing of the A&E series “Rollergirls” about a banked-track derby team out of Austin, Texas. Many of our players saw “Rollergirls” and knew that they wanted to play derby. It all began in 2005 when founding skater Helen of DesTroy scoured the internet for other girls interested in starting a team in Dayton. The team had its first Meet & Greet at the Skateworld of Kettering on January 22, 2006, and its first practice on February 19, 2006.
Since then the team has had a variety of changing line-ups. They have skaters from all walks of life, from ages 18 to 60, single gals to moms with kids, medical assistants to teachers to accountants to cosmetologists. Meet a few of the girls:
Why did you pick your name?: I picked Reckless because when I first started scrimmaging with the team I was out of control… I still enjoy skating at reckless speeds toward the back of the pack. Ratchet was a nickname given to me in school many years ago. Thus was born Reckless Ratchet
What is your pre-game ritual?: Feeling sick to my stomach. I like to distract myself with cleaning the house until it’s time to head to Hara.
What do you “geek out” about?: Spending time with my awesome husband and three wonderfully rotten and precocious kids… and derby!
Why did you join derby?: I joined after watching my first bout back in 2010. As soon as the whistle blew and both teams started hitting each other, I knew this was something I had to do! After that, I showed up at the next practice and have been doing it ever since.
Why did you pick your name?: Because I demolish anything my way and I’ve got some wicked curves 🙂
What advice would you give someone new to derby?: It takes a lot of work-off and on the track so be prepared. Don’t get down on yourself and stay positive!
Diva Vin Detta
Why did you join derby?: I have been a rink rat my entire life, I ran into the Gem City Rollergirls on Myspace, lol. I went to my first practice just to check it out in April 2009 and was immediately told to strap on some skates. I got to hit some girls and they definitely hit me back. I have been dedicated to this kick ass sport ever since.
What is your pre-game ritual?: Bathroom, banana, bathroom, red-bull, banana, choose game day bandanna, skate.
What advice would you give someone new to derby?: You will know immediately if this sport is for you. Don’t force it. If you think it is for you, don’t quit. Don’t rush your name. Names are not the sport, they are cute and fun and sometimes, a little bad ass but they do not make you a better skater, practice does. So just keep skating the name will come, eventually.
Why did you join derby?: Growing up, I was a rink rat. I’ve skated for as long as I can remember, so it wasn’t very hard to talk me in to trying it! After joining, I realized it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel so lucky to have found this *amazing* team.
Why did you pick your name?: I actually didn’t choose my own name. You see, if you can’t decide on a name, one will be given to you. Apparently I have a tendency to “space out” 🙂
What is your pre-game ritual?: Burger King. Enough said.
What advice would you give someone new to derby?: It isn’t easy, but IT’S WORTH IT. Please, please, please don’t give up. Because, in the end, all of the bruises/blood/soreness is worth it.
The ladies season opener is this Saturday night, Feb 22nd in the Ball Arena at the Hara Arena Complex! Get your tickets for this double header against Chemical Valley and A-Town. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets for only $10! At the door prices are $12 for adults and $7 for ages 8-12. Doors open at 4:30 and game time is 5:30. They will lead off with the ladies of Violet Femmes vs A-Town and finish the night off with Purple Reign vs Chemical Valley.
Do you want to be part of the Gem City Rollergirls? We can’t blame you. There are several ways to get involved.
The best way to help our organization and learn more about derby at the same time is to volunteer. An “NSO” is a Non-Skating Official. You may spot them in pink shirts at bouts keeping stats, managing the penalty box, selling tickets, keeping score, and more. Everyone who works our bouts does so on a volunteer basis, and we can always use more volunteers! NSOs gain free entry into bouts they work and get an inside look at the organization. If you plan to skate with the team when boot camp rolls around, this is a great place to be in the meantime.
Those folks in stripes are also volunteers. Is bashing and crashing not your cup of tea? Does your schedule not jive with our practice times? You may prefer to learn your way around a whistle. Referees often attend regular team practices and the skating is equally intense. Contact us to learn more.
We are always looking for new skaters for our team. No skills? No gear? No problem! All you need to start is some dedication and a fierce desire to get out on the rink and kick some butt!
Do you think you have what it takes to be a roller girl? If so, mark your calendars. Gem City will hold two boot camps this year to bring in new talent. To skate, you must be a female age 18 or older. High skill, low skill, never strapped wheels to your feet…Gem City welcomes you. You bring the will and we’ll show you the way.
Tentative dates for 2014 boot camp are as follows:
Mid-season boot camp: June 30th, July 1st, 3rd, & 6th.
Off season boot camp: October 13th, 14th, 16th, 19th.
Ticket Give Away
DaytonMostMetro.com has a pair of tickets to give away for Saturday’s season opener. If you’d like to enter our ticket giveaway, fill out the form below and comment below what your “roller – name” would be! Winner will be drawn Friday evening and posted here.
Congrats to Gretchen Henrich, our ticket winner- enjoy the roller derby!