The Kansas City Roller Warriors
October 11, 2010
Here's what Kristin Clarke a.ka. Eclipse of the Kansas City Roller Warriors had to say about the impact of the recent Ellen Page movie on the sport, dealing out pain, and what to expect at a roller derby match.
This is kind of a dumb question, but how has the movie Whip It affected the sport?
It has helped legitimatize our league and others in the eyes of potential sponsors and the press. Before people would laugh at us or write about us in the FYI section, now they’re putting up banners/booths at our events, and listing us under sports (ok maybe not everyone, but we’re working on it). It has also helped with recruitment, whip-it-fever brings in lots of ladies, but derby isn’t kind to the lazy or needy. It will break you and spit you out if you’re not ready to work for it.
Roller Derby is a pretty brutal sport. Is there any one position that deals with or deals out the most pain?
I’d say the jammers have to deal with it the most. They have to be the fastest, and everyone is looking to not just slow them down, but knock them out. You don’t have any friends when you’re the jammer, or at least that’s how jamming feels. I’d say the bumper or the 4 position gets to deal out the most pain because often you’ll get a hit on their initial pass. But, you can also catch them when they get held up by others in the pack: we call this re-engaging or recycling the jammer. Sometimes jammers will forget you’re back there because they already passed you, and you can remind them, right off their skates.
Could you tell me a little bit about some of the Rollers Warriors' charity work?
We have tried lots of things in the past, and while we’re ready to help any charity that asks, we have tried to streamline our efforts into 5 big events annually so that our efforts are focused, and we can cause SERIOUS positive impact. We pick one charity annually to profit share with, so basically this year we donated a percentage of our bout profits to the Mid America Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We participate in the Polar Plunge at Shawnee Mission Park every year. Last year, we were the #5 fundraiser with $4k. This year we have teamed up with other local roller derby leagues to try and be the #1 fundraiser. The polar plunge benefits KS Special Olympics.
For those who haven't been, what can a person expect to see when they go to a Roller Warriors game?
You’ll see lots of tough ladies, skating hard and turning left. We have 4 home teams that battle every season for the league championship, and 2 travel teams that play other roller derby leagues. We’ve got several good-looking coaches and refs. We recently added Pivot, our skating panda mascot. Throw in some beer and our Hot Mess boys, and you’ve got quite an entertaining evening.
South Independence Branch