Roller Derby fever coming to a base near you!
One of the world’s fastest growing sports for women is flat track roller derby. Casual observers and the uninformed may relate roller derby with egregious attitudes, fishnets stockings, hard hits and bold tattoos. However, since its inception, the sport has evolved into a demanding and competitive form of athletics combining speed, endurance, and complex strategy.
Today, the sport lives up to the motto established by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA): “Real, Strong, Athletic, Revolutionary.”
Two leagues currently train, bout, and promote the sport of roller derby within the military and local community on Okinawa. The Kokeshi Roller Dolls and the Devil Dog Derby Dames began in 2010 and became active apprentice leagues within WFTDA in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Today, both leagues hold multiple two-hour training sessions throughout the week at various locations on Kadena Air Force Base, Torii Station, Camp Lester and Camp Foster. Attracting all skaters—young and old, experienced or novice, and every fitness level—league rosters comprise service members from all branches, family members, and Department of Defense civilians.
Offering a dynamic after work activity for those seeking to challenge themselves, both leagues not only hold flat track events but are active within the community.
During the 2012 season, the Kokeshi Roller Dolls held fundraiser events to support the Air Force Ball in September at Marine Hangar 3 and to support the Kubasaki Volleyball Team in November at the Kubasaki High School gym.
During both exhibition events, the Habu Hellions defeated the Shisa Slammers in hard fought contests.
In December, the Kokeshi Roller Doll Star team—a travel team consisting of the best skaters in their league—traveled to mainland Japan to battle the Yokosuka Sushi Rollers. The Doll Stars summarily defeated the Sushi Rollers by a commanding score of 365 to 49. Similarly, a Devil Dog Derby Dame All Star Team traveled to Hawaii in 2011.
Derby Dame bouts have become a staple at the Torii Gym, where spectators consistently witness exciting and physical bouts throughout the year. During their league championship, the Machinegun Mollies defeated the Blitzkrieg Betties to capture the 2012 title. The Derby Dame’s 2013 season started on 16 February 2013 with a match between the Parachuting Pollies and the reigning league champs. The Mollies defeated the Pollies, 302 to 202, in a thrilling skate-borne battle.
Recently, the two leagues have begun holding joint training sessions and scrimmages. On 23 February 2013, Okinawans and SOFA status personnel alike will have the opportunity to attend an inaugural inter-league double header event at the Okinawa Comprehensive Athletics Park near Okinawa City off Highway 329. The main event is a battle between the Habu Hellions and the Blitzkrieg Betties.
Starting around 6:30 pm, the match promises to be an exhilarating contest showcasing the talents of their many skaters. Prior to the main event, there will be a ‘mash-up’ battle consisting of skaters from both leagues beginning at 4:30pm.
Information, Travel and Ticketing (ITT) offices on Kadena have advance tickets for sale at a discount or tickets may be purchased at the door at full price. More information is available online on each league’s Facebook page or at their team webpage.