Friday, November 13, 2009

Sisterhood of TheTraveling Skates

I always encourage people to submit entries for The Rebel Yell. Though I love writing for the blog, I think that diversity plays an important roll in keeping things interesting both here in cyber space, and on the track. After all, The Roller Rebels consist of several members who make up the league; big and small, short and tall, speedy and strong. And so I feel that it's important to feature people other than me, to see things from another's point of view. It's also fun to read other styles of writing. That's why a while back I decided to add various columns to the blog; Men In Derby, by Celtic Thunder and Derby History, by Muscles Marinara. Today, fellow teammate Tripsy Rose Lee, happily contributed a post about roller derby from her point of view. Read on to see the great things she had to say............

The Sisterhood of The Traveling Skates

I know it might sound completely backwards to compare my roller derby team with my sorority, but I can't help see the similarities arise constantly between these two organizations. First of all, my roller derby team has been more of a 'sisterhood' than I could have ever imagined. For starters, more recently, we have had 3 major injuries this past month and I have witnessed my team come together for these girls in ways I can't have ever imaged. Three major injuries consisting of 2 tibia/fibula breaks requiring surgeries and one tibia break, also requiring a number of weeks incapacitated. We have a website, similar to facebook, but solely for our team... and almost every single girl on the team has posted messages reaching out with every ounce of their heart to offer help, whether it be to cook, clean, or send flowers to our 'downed soldiers'. I have really seen our community pull together to offer assistance to our injured players. These charity efforts have really shown how much heart our girls put into this sport and the girls they call 'sisters'.... In college, I was a member of a sorority that had developed a philanthropy specifically devoted to helping sisters from all walks of life, all ages and all situations, to press through difficult times in their lives. Because of these recent events, my derby team now also has a foundation specifically devoted to helping teammates that are injured and can't function normally in society, whether financially or otherwise.

Clearly, our team consists of girls that give their heart unconditionally to the sport they love. A sport, that until now has only been heard about in 1970's Sports Illustrated Magazines. Roller derby is a current sport... A sport with a large following, which has approximately 200 teams nationwide. A sport that is 100% real... with real rules, real players, and real heart. Each and every team has contributed to the revival of this sport with everything they have.

The Long Island Roller Rebels consists of approximately 40 girls, plus another 15 or so comprising of the support staff... including referees, NSO's aka Non-Skating Officials, supporters, and fans in uncountable digits. In addition, the league has promoted the sport in many media outlets, including newspapers, such as Newsday as well as local papers, radio, and even MTV. Public Relations is just one of the many 'committees' that the league is divided into. We also have girls responsible for photography, graphic design, recruitment, bout production, sponsorship, coaching, and merchandise.

Now, this is mainly where I gather my comparison between sports team and sorority. When I was a sorority girl I was responsible for becoming a part of a 'committee'. Whether it be 'recruitment', 'philanthropy', or similar, I was responsible for contributing my efforts in building the sisterhood and providing our neighbors with a positive reputation of our efforts. Now regardless of whichever committee I participated in... I was also responsible for charitable work. I spent days in nursing homes or nights packaging gifts with the marines for 'Toys for Tots' for example. The Long Island Roller Rebels take part in many charitable events. For example, this year alone we have taken part in a BBQ for the veterans on Memorial Day with the Long Island Roadrunners M.C., donated blood at a blood drive, walked for ovarian cancer, and walked for a suicide prevention cause. Our next bout, on
November 14th versus the Molly Roger Roller Girls, is a charity bout where we will be collecting men's clothing and shoes for the Good Souls Project, Toys for Tots, and donations for Habitat for Humanity as well as Breast Cancer Awareness.

As a 27 year old female, you might find yourself asking.... why roller derby?? My answer is 100% honest and heartfelt when I tell you that the most rewarding and satisfying thing about joining the Long Island Roller Rebels is the camaraderie...more specifically, 'the sisterhood'. I love being a part of something with so much heart. I love being able to put my heart, soul, and energy, not only into a sport that I love, but also to a community that I love.

So after comparing the sisterhood of my sorority with my roller derby team, I can find the only difference in our clothing. I wore trendy jeans and top shop blouses for my sorority... fishnets and hotpants for derby. The letters I wear here are not a part of the Greek alphabet. The letters I wear now proudly are LIRR - Long Island Roller Rebels!!

There is a song by Uncle Leon called 'Roller Derby Saved My Soul' and after playing with the Long Island Roller Rebels for 6 months.. I can honestly attest to these lyrics with a big fat smile and a much more toned rear-end! :P

Fellow Sister - Tripsy Rose Lee

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