Are you tough enough to battle it out on the track?
Philadelphia’s own Love City Roller Derby is hosting College Recruitment Nights at the new Derby Ink Gardens arena, located on the corner of Ninth and Spring Garden streets, giving college students an opportunity to open their eyes to the world of roller derby.
The co-ed league founded in October 2012 and is a proud Class I member of the Modern Athletic Derby Endeavor. It is made up of four individual teams: women’s teams Bettie Rages, Doomsday Dolls and Lipstick Militia, and the men’s team Shove City Roller Derby.
College Nights are held bi-monthly on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., continuing on March 27 through the rest of spring.
Though Derby Ink Gardens is accessible by SEPTA, and there is an onsite parking lot for those driving to the recruitment night, valet parking is also available.
Although these nights aren’t exclusively for local college students, the derby organization aims to attract those who are studying in the area.
“We hope to get college teams going [through these recruitment nights]. Maybe university versus university,” said Melissa Morera, the president of LCRB.
The cost of recruitment night is $5, allowing students to take their mind off academics with a one-hour skate session, high-impact derby lessons and a scrimmage preview. Those participating are required to bring their college ID and proof of age – participants must be at least 18 years old to skate.
Skaters should dress comfortably in shorts, high socks and a T-shirt, Morera said.
Bringing your own skates is recommended, but there are some loaner skates available in limited sizes for those who don’t have their own. But, if your size isn’t available, you won’t be able to skate.
The high-energy sport has multiple benefits for students, Morera said.
“Derby allows students to get great exercise, meet a lot of people and take a break from studying,” Morera said.
Current team member Nicole Mudrick, better known as “Anita Bodybag” on the track, suggests roller derby for anyone who is considering it.
“If you’re thinking about it, take the chance and give it a try,” Mudrick said. “I’ve never regretted my decision, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.”
Mudrick became interested in derby after watching a reality TV show called “Rollergirls.” She ended up trying out for Philly’s other derby league, The Philly Roller Girls, but didn’t make the team. This didn’t stop her from trying again, she said, and she made LCRD’s mother league.
“Most other leagues would’ve cut me from their fresh meat programs for not keeping up, but [they] didn’t give up on me,” Mudrick said. “I’m forever grateful to them for that.”
An afterparty will be held at Institute Bar, which is located on 12th and Green streets. LCRB’s games are held twice a month. The next two bouts are on March 22 and April 6.
Bria Topper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.