Rochester’s Roller Derby: Quality Bruises & A Need For More Space
For many of us, roller derby isn't just a sport, it's a way of life.
Rochester, Minnesota is known as "The Med City." People around the world know about Mayo Clinic. Just slightly fewer people know about the MedCity Roller Derby, its incredible impact on the people involved, and how much fun derby is. And they need a new space. More on that in just a second (or just scroll down if you're the impatient type).
What Is MedCity Roller Derby?
According to Cat Thisius from the MCRD,
"For many of us, roller derby isn't just a sport, it's a way of life. We probably wouldn't have met each other or become friends if it weren't for roller derby. Promoting positivity, encouraging/pushing each other to be their best self, and being there in the good and difficult times is who we are as a league."
MedCity Roller Derby is a non-profit (yes, a 501(c)3), and is a member league of the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) International Roller Derby Association. Before the pandemic, there were 452 WFTDA Member Leagues on 6 continents. Derby is big.
But it's not just big, it's local.
"MedCity Roller Derby supports the community through skating activities, hosting Girl Scout badge events, and volunteering in various events such as Pride Fest, MedCity Healthy Human Race, and the newest event coming up, Rochester’s Roller Disco on October 9th and 10th."
PERSONAL NOTE: Please, if you can, help out! I cannot say enough good things about Roller Derby. The skaters, the refs, the whole family (and yes it can be a real family) will help you find the confidence in yourself that is already there, just maybe it's too shy to come out. You'll also have a great time...and get bruises, but those bruises will fill you with pride and a reminder of just how much of a butt-kicker you are! I've seen it personally over and over again.
Being a part of the action isn't limited to being a skater (though they're always looking for more skaters). There's always a welcome spot for volunteers, referees, coaches, and anyone that wants to help promote roller derby. Scroll down to see about two opportunities to meet up and find out more.
So What Does MedCity Roller Derby Need Exactly?
They've been renting space from the Boys & Girls Club for years and, "it was a wonderful partnership" Thisius said. We are so grateful for their support over the years. Due to the pandemic, they no longer have the staffing to continue renting to us. "
So what they need is a track, with a 10-foot ref lane. A full track is 108' x 73' but even 90x 60 is adequate. They'll use gaffer's tape to create the track on the smooth surface. Many times they've held bouts in Graham Arena. (see photo above)
"Our wheels do not damage floors and are made from polyurethane. We have references from Graham Arena, which has smooth concrete, and the Boys & Girls Club, which has a wooden gym floor." (Cat Thisius)
Things the Space Must Have
- The space must be at least 90' x 60', but better if it's full track size, 108' x 73'
- A 10' refs lane
- Smooth, flat surface floor: cement, smooth tile, or wood floor
- Limited pillars or obstructions within the space of the track area
- A bathroom
- Heat in the winter
- Off-street parking would be nice!
If you have a space and would like to partner with the team, contact their general manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
14 Pictures That Capture Rochester's MedCity Roller Derby's Excitement
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