Junction City Roller Derby Boot Camp is back
Ogden-based roller derby team Junction City Roller Derby was formed in 2008. After a hiatus, they are back and ready to play with 30 members, and boot camp is coming up again in August.
Boot camp is an eight-week course where newcomers can learn the basics of roller skating, the rules of roller derby and how to play safely. Junction City Roller Derby’s coach and game organizer, who goes by the derby name “Blackheart,” describes roller derby as “a contact sport without a ball.”
Roller derby has an adaptive history, starting off as racing on skates, moving to a more theatrical sport for entertainment, and evolving into the competitive sport as we know it today, thanks to the creation of the flat track derby team “Texas Rollergirls” in the early 2000s.
Junction City Roller Derby plays flat track as well, meaning the game can be played anywhere there is enough flat surface. “All you really need is tape and rope,” says “Stoneher,” a player on the team. Even still, finding a large empty room with hard floors in Ogden to rent hourly is proving difficult for the team. While they are grateful for F5 Athletics in Syracuse for letting them play there and say the owner is “absolutely incredible,” they are looking for suggestions and ideas on somewhere local to practice and hold bouts.
“We really want to keep it localized, because we are an Ogden-based team,” says Stoneher.
Junction City Roller Derby is an all-inclusive team. Everyone is welcome, regardless of gender, age or any other factor — with the exception that they are 18 or older. However, there are teams for youth players available.
The reasons the team’s players began roller derby vary, but they all have similar reasons for staying. Players “Knight Witch” and “Dee Wrex” both cite a “midlife crisis” as their reason for starting, while “Kiss Off” and “Slam Bam” highlight the desire for some fun exercise. “Roll-X” and “Knockout Punch” are both mothers who wanted something to do that was fun and just for them. They each express that they keep playing for the community, friendship, empowerment and support that comes along with it.
The team is recruiting new players, scouting out volunteers to help in other ways outside of playing, and fundraising to help keep it all running.
Keep watch for their booth at the Farmer’s Market on 25th Street and at Ogden Pride, and get ready for Junction City Roller Derby bouts to hit a venue with a hard floor near you.
You can keep up with and reach out to Junction City Roller Derby on Facebook (@JunctionCityRollerDolls).