The South Shore Roller Derby team are lacing their skates as the new season approaches.
SSRD Board President Ellen Kapitan said:
The league was founded in 2013 as the South Shore Roller Girls. In 2021, its members dropped “girl” to be more inclusive.
“When you last hear the word ‘Derby’ instead of ‘girls’, it means more than that,” said the current skater Capitan.
Northwest Indiana’s Premier Flat Track Roller Derby League kicks off its 2023 home season with a doubleheader at the Hammond Civic Center on Saturday, March 11th. Opponent information and time are TBA.
The two South Shore teams, Derailers and Runaways, will have two 2-minute ‘jams’ for 30 minutes each. Teams of up to five players skate counter-clockwise, trying to pass opposing players to score points.
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Before joining the SSRD in 2017, Lisa Stojanovich hadn’t worn skates in over ten years. She describes it as one of the greatest emotions in the world.
“It’s a fun combination of feeling outside of yourself, but it’s also about fully listening and paying attention to what every part of your body is doing,” said the 33-year-old. “You are so focused on everything that is happening around you that everything else is float over there. “
Women over the age of 18 are encouraged to join the SSRD, even if they have no previous skating experience. Some are in their mid 40’s.
Additional information about the league can be found on the SSRD website, SouthShoreRollerDerby.org.
“If anyone is interested, be sure to contact us,” says Stojanovich. “I hope someone who thinks about it will come and check us out.”
The SSRD will host its second doubleheader on Saturday, June 24th at the Franciscan Health Pavilion at Bulldog Park in Crown Point. The final game of the home season is scheduled for Saturday 16 September at the Urschel Pavilion at Valparaíso’s Central Park Plaza. The travel schedule has yet to be finalized, but Kapitan said SSRD will likely be in his three matches as well.
Amanda Luna had to relearn how to roller skate when she became a member in 2014. Since then she has met some of her best friends.
She’s nervous for the event, but being on the track with the team is an exhilarating experience.
“Throughout my personal life, it’s been amazing how roller derby has helped me gain confidence,” said Luna. “Often women are confident in taking up space, and in a roller derby you can do that. We all have different body types. There is space and location for
She describes herself as strong and capable when skating. Meeting with her strong-willed people helped Luna to communicate more verbally, she said, thanks to the roller derby.
“One of the really cool things is that we will be adding a third team soon. Things were very uneventful in the years leading up to COVID. We are learning hard and this is a very exciting endeavor that we are embarking on.”