Category: Member of the Month

Member of the Month: BoD

Article by Sylvia’s Wrath.

“Anyone can lead when the plan is working. The best lead when the plan falls apart.” -Robin Sharma

In these trying times, we want to look to our leaders to guide us, to provide insight and hope in the midst of chaos. On a national scale, we may not be finding what we are looking for. But here at Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, we are lucky to have strong leadership that keeps us feeling connected and supported, that leads by example and does not hesitate to tackle the issues that the global roller derby community is facing. That’s why our August Member of the Month is actually a group, not just one member. RMRG would like to recognize our entire Board of Directors for their tireless work to keep our league afloat through this pandemic. 

We have so much respect and gratitude for the work that this group does, often behind the scenes and without recognition. In March, they were faced with difficult decisions in how to respond to the early stages of Covid and its implications for play, choosing skater safety and shutting down practices until safe to resume. They have been in constant contact with Denver Roller Derby, with whom we share space, and have kept open lines of communication with their league and our  liaison committee to insure we are all on the same page to keep everyone safe. They have also worked closely with WFTDA and our league rep for the association to ensure that we are following the Return to Play guidelines, and outlining what that looks like for us. They have gone above and beyond their required duties, meeting multiple times a month (and sometimes a week!), giving up much more of their own time than the quarterly meetings that are laid out in the by-laws for the league. 

The board has also been hard at work on fundraising efforts, collaborating with league members and the community to keep our league alive without the funding of game revenue. They are forced on an almost daily basis to make hard choices to insure that we still have a home when we are finally ready to return to it. This is not an easy task, and there are many conflicting opinions about how to make it happen. Anyone who has been involved in roller derby knows that it is made up of strong, opinionated people, and this board takes the time to listen and weigh all of those opinions before making choices that will affect everyone. Throughout every step, they have communicated progress and decisions in an open, transparent way that helps keep our members feeling valued and respected. 

Not only has the board been busy handling all things pandemic-related, they have found themselves in the position to increase diversity and inclusivity through positive change. Working with the league to examine our policies, and how they might affect marginalized groups, has created even more challenging work for the group. Even within the wonderful world of derby, there can be conflict, and things can get contentious pretty quickly. This board has taken measures to protect its’ members, working closely with our League Relations committee to refine and update our code of conduct in order to create an environment where all feel valued and respected, a place where we can hold civilized discussion without fear of vitriol or discmination. This is no easy task in today’s climate, and they are handling these issues with grace and pragmatism. 

Thank you for everything you do, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls’ 2020 Board of Directors: Harper Bizarre, Coacheena, Grave Robin, Queen of the Fight, Misstress Tarable, Cherry Manilow, and Sweet Dee Stroyher. 

Our league would be lost without you! Congratulations on being our August Members of the Month! 

Member of the Month: Lumpy Skate Princess

Article by Sylvia’s Wrath.

Considering the dumpster fire that is 2020, I think most of us will be happy to realize that the year is already half over. That’s right, it’s July, and summer is getting under way. For many, the month of July conjures images of beers, backyard BBQs, and blowing stuff up. Yes, Independence Day is upon us. A day that many use to honor and celebrate our nation. “But what is there to celebrate?” one might ask, especially this year. Though our nation is in a state of unrest, there are still positive things that can be taken from recent events. Our collective consciousness has been called to action, and we find many people united in the goal to change the status quo and truly examine the systems of oppression that have defined our country. This is something worth celebrating. Change IS happening and voices that have been long silenced are finally being heard. We have a long way to go, but seeing this unity and social action is cause for revelry. Something else worth celebrating? Our July Member of the Month: Lumpy Skate Princess, or LSP for short! 

We are so excited to honor LSP this month for many reasons, not the least of which is her fortitude in standing on the right side of history and being an activist and accomplice in the quest for a more just society. As a social justice advocate, she is a role model to her leaguemates. LSP is not afraid to call out inequity and injustice, and she is willing to have the difficult conversations that are necessary to create necessary change in our world. She is a patient champion for equal rights, and is able to engage in dialogue with those of differing backgrounds in a respectful, civil manner. Her passion for creating a more just world is inspiring, and she has helped our league evolve and see how our own behaviors and biases can be examined and changed. 

But LSP isn’t just the July MoM because of her advocacy. If you have seen her skate, you know her strength is not only in her activism, but her ability to crush her opposition on the track. She is fierce and focused, and practically impossible to stop. As a believer in equality, LSP does it all: jams, blocks, and even takes the pivot when needed. I know I speak for many a blocker when I say we DO NOT like to see LSP coming out to the line as a jammer. She has that bulldozer style that makes you want to just step out of the way, rather than even attempt to stop her. I mean, who wants to step in front of a freight train coming at you at full speed? I can accurately make this analogy, because I have made that mistake. Once. (It’s not something you do twice.) It didn’t take long for the Red Ridin’ Hoods to see this, and they drafted her as soon as the opportunity arose. Her teammates describe her as a “beast on the track” and a “lovely teammate on the bench.” This is the kind of player everyone wants on their team. 

And even when LSP isn’t skating or out fighting the good fight, she spends countless hours donating her time to our league, refereeing almost every game that she isn’t playing in, volunteering on committees, and generally being an awesome human. She is a fixture at every scrimmage, game, and event, and does it all with her beatific smile shining on her face. We are honored and thrilled to celebrate Lumpy Skate Princess as our July Member of the Month. Congratulations LSP!! 

Member of the Month: Lilo & Stitches

Article by Sylvia’s Wrath. Photo credit Jay Vollmar. 

Have you ever seen the movie Lilo & Stitch? NO? Ok, well let me give you a quick summary:

Lilo is a little Hawaiian girl who adopts a “dog” that turns out to be an extraterrestrial. Stitch is said dog. But really, Stitch is a “genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth” (Thank you Google). June’s Member of the Month is none other than Lilo & Stitches, or “Stitches” for short.

Much like her mischievous namesake,  Stitches appeared one day from outer space, crash landing at the doorstep of the Rollerdome.  Ok, maybe she didn’t really come from outer space. She transferred from CoMo Roller Derby in Columbia, Missouri. And maybe she didn’t crash land; I’m pretty sure she safely arrived in a car. But other than that, their stories are completely interchangeable: Alien creature finds family, saves lives. 

No really, if you’ve seen her skate, you would not doubt her alien lineage. She is one of the most fearless, dedicated jammers in our league, and can contort her body in ways that no human should be able to. She fits herself through non-existent holes in ways that can only be described as otherworldly, and has even been known to levitate on occasion. Give her an inch on the outside and she will shapeshift right past you with her “bean dip” maneuver. In the movie, Stitch was designed to destroy; in roller derby, Stitches destroys walls. 

All of these attributes made her a welcome addition and popular draft choice when she joined Rocky last June (happy one-year anniversary!) Being the savvy team that they are, the Sugars quickly snatched her up. Her jamming skills, as well as her life-of-the-afterparty shenanigans, made her a great fit for this party team! She quickly stepped up to leadership and filled the open captain position for the Sugars, cementing her as one of their own. In addition to her spot on the most fun home team, Stitches was invited to join Rocky’s B-team, the Contenders, and skated with them briefly before moving up to the charter, 5280 Fight Club, at the end of last year. In addition to her role with Rocky, Stitches is also an active voice and member of Jewish Roller Derby, who provide a nation of Jewish skaters with a common national team. Additionally, she is a passionate and enthusiastic member of Team Crop-top, regularly eschewing as much clothing as she legally can. (I think she might be allergic to full-length pants, too.)

We all enjoy skating with and against Stitches, but she brings more than skating talent to our league. Recognizing some needs in the area of safety, Stitches became our safety officer and could often be found volunteering as a medic for games. In that role, she developed our current concussion protocol, keeping skaters and their brains safe. Stitches also joined the league’s training committee, and recently took over as head of that group, working to ensure that skaters at every level were being challenged and able to grow. Since we have been on hiatus, her hard work has not stopped. She continues to plan dynamic and engaging virtual practices, offering on and off skate training as we wait until we can return to normal play. 

In the movie “Lilo & Stitch,” Stitch ends up on a strange planet.  He has to navigate his way through this new world, all the while being chased down by other aliens. Stitches, on the other hand, found herself in the new world of Rocky Mountain, navigating her way around the track, all the while being chased down by other skaters. Stitch found a home and a family with Lilo, and we are proud that Stitches found a home and family with us here at Rocky.

Congratulations, Stitches, our June Member of the Month.