Category: Member of the Month

Member of the Month: Grave Robin

Article by Sylvia’s Wrath.

Photo credit: Anna Zarrella Photography

November is a month for giving thanks. And no one deserves our gratitude more than our November Member of the Month, Grave Robin. This is a timely and bittersweet addition to our monthly appreciations, as Grave Robin will be leaving us in pursuit of new career opportunities in sunny California before too long. We are grateful, not only for the hard work Graves has put in over the years, but also for this opportunity to recognize her before she leaves.

Graves has had quite an impact in the four years since she started skating with Rocky Mountain. Her background as a former rugby player and coach gave her an edge over many new skaters and allowed her to quickly become an indispensable member of her home team, the Doom’s Daisies, as well as a welcome addition when traveling with Project Mayhem. Always willing to play any position or help wherever she is needed, her multi-faceted skill set has been a blessing to the league, both on and off the track.

Her commitment and love for the league were evident early on, most notably in her role as a leader of the Events and Street Team committees, organizing outings and promotional events to share the love of all things Rocky. She played a major role in organizing many of our favorite events, including our involvement in Pride and St. Patrick’s Day parades, as well as working on internal league events like our annual “prom.” Never one to shy away from a challenge, Graves also gave a lot of her time and energy to create fundraisers to help keep our league afloat. As if all that wasn’t enough, she has also been an active member of the training committee, and our recruiting and development group, NeRD.

In 2020, Graves took her strong AF work ethic and passion for the league to the next level, becoming a Board of Directors member in what has turned out to be the most challenging year ever for our leadership. And what’s more, she took on the increasingly daunting task of becoming the Covid risk coordinator, working with our friends at DRD to ensure that all safety protocols are followed to keep our warehouse a safe space for when we (someday) return to play.

You would think with all of this on her plate, Graves would sit down and take a rest sometimes. But you would be wrong. Without derby to keep her going, she turned her attentions to new ways to keep herself moving, and still spend (safe, socially-distanced) time with her teammates. She has organized a tennis group with several members, and they meet regularly to play. When she’s not on the court, she also spends time with teammates in an online DnD group, challenging her gaming skills on top of her athleticism.

It is clear to see that Grave Robin has been an invaluable asset to Rocky Mountain Rollergirls over the last few years. As we turn inwards and reflect on what we are grateful for at this time of year, we would be remiss not to share our endless gratitude with this skater. Thank you, Graves, for all the work you have put in at this league. You will be missed.

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!!