The Charm City Roller Girls’ home season winds down with the Home Season 9 Championship this weekend, May 31, at Du Burns Arena. CCRG spokeswoman Sadie Stingray tells what it’s like to be a roller derby competitor, how she got involved, and how you can join the team–or at least take some derby skating lessons.
Who are the Charm City Roller Girls?
Stingray: Baltimore’s own nine-year-old flat track women’s roller derby club. CCRG is based out of the Du Burns Arena in Canton. CCRG has four intra-league teams [Junkyard Dolls, Mobtown Mods, Speed Regime, and Night Terrors] that bout each other, and three inter-league travel teams [All Stars, Female Trouble, and Trouble Makers]. We have a fair number of Baltimore-area skaters, but we also draw heavily from the nearby counties and even the Eastern Shore.
Who can join CCRG?
Women ages 18 and over. Right now, we have women who are in their early 20s to mid-40s. It helps if you know how to roller skate, but you don’t necessarily have to come to us a good skater. When I joined CCRG, I hadn’t skated in 20 years and had never played a team sport in my life.
What are the skill requirements?
We have various levels of skill assessments for joining a team. Skating for roller derby (skating in a gaming scenario) is different from roller skating. When you were skating as a child, you were not trying not to get hit, for instance. Everyone passes the skill assessments at their own pace. It can take one person four months and another person a year or more. Once you’ve passed all your assessments, you can get drafted to a CCRG team.
How did you get involved?
I’ve been involved for a few years now. Before I joined, I was aware that Baltimore had a women’s roller derby team, and I thought it would be fun to do. Years went by, and I met a derby skater at a work event. Two days later, I saw an advertisement for CCRG boot camp (10 weeks of training) and I signed up.
When people who are interested in CCRG tell me, ‘I don’t know if I could do that,’ I tell them everyone’s journey in derby is their own. You’re pushed out of your comfort zone, but derby is different for every skater. It’s very empowering, really an amazing and diverse and supportive environment. You have a support system of 60-80 women behind you. Right now, I play for Speed Regime and Trouble Makers.
Who runs CCRG?
It’s team-run, 100-percent volunteer, from skaters to officials. It’s our hobby, but we are passionate about it.
What can I do if I want to learn more about CCRG?
We recruit year round. We have monthly Charm School classes [derby skating lessons] for men and women for $15. July 19 is our next Charm School at Skateland North Point, 1113 North Point Rd. in Dundalk. Visit the Charm City Roller Girls website www.charmcityrollergirls.com for details.
Join the fun at Coppermine’s Clarence H. “Du” Burns Arena, 3100 Boston Street: Night Terrors vs. Mobtown Mods and Junkyard Dolls vs. Speed Regime.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The first bout is at 6:30 p.m. with the second game starting around 8:15 p.m. This event is family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. Tickets are available at the door for $15, but patrons can save money purchasing online at www.missiontix.com; kids 5 to 12 are $5; general admission is $12; VIP tickets are $25. Street parking is plentiful and paid parking lots are within walking distance of the venue.
by Danielle Sweeney