Location: Holiday Skate Center, 14950 Palmdale Road, Victorville, CA
Date Established: August 2010
Number of team members: 45 girls (combination of “Pinkies”, Subs and the Team)
(Victor Valley)–Finding something fun to do in the High Desert is a task many see as impossible. Sure, we have the High Desert Maverick’s, who are awesome, but what else is there to do, on say, a Saturday Night that’s fun for the whole family? How about watching some live roller derby action while supporting your local team? Wait, what’s that?
“Roller Derby was founded by Leo Seltzer in the early 50’s. It started out as a speed competition, just doing laps. Eventually players started crashing into each other, and fans liked it. So he created the game of roller derby,“ explained Sarah McClockin, #52 for the Dirt City Roller Rats.
The Dirt City Roller Rats (DCRR) founded in August 2010, had around 15 members. Since then, the team has grown to 45 girls consisting of one team and “Pinkies” which are new girls in training. The team is made from locals right here in the desert, with team members residing in Hesperia, Victorville, Apple Valley, Barstow, Phelan, Lake Arrowhead and even as far as Beaumont. “We come in all shapes and sizes, and all age groups” added Khloe Ka-Bash-U-In, #004.
A few ladies from the team, Sarah McClockin and Khloe Ka-Bash-U-In, explained to me how the game works. You have a pack (8 blockers-4 players from each team) and two jammers, one from each team. Every time a jammer laps completely around an opposing player, they score a point. Of course, packs are trying to prevent the jammers from doing so. The game is fast paced, and physical contact is a must.
“In the old days, they got to throw elbows and all that, that’s now a penalty,” Khloe said in regards to how the rules have evolved since the game first started. The ladies informed me that the sport is the fast growing sport in the world. With 600 leagues in the US alone, and 1,045 in the world, the world of Roller Derby seems to grow more and more. Sarah stated about the growth of the sport, “On average, every two days a league is being formed.”
The group in a non-profit organization, as it holds fundraisers throughout the year to help assist with the day-to-day functions of the team. From paying rent for practice and games at the Holiday Skate Center in Victorville, to covering travel to play against teams in other cities and states, fundraisers are a must. Fundraisers have included car washes, restaurant fundraisers, and more. Sponsorships are a huge help as well, as are community partnerships, like Pharmacy Board Shop, who have been great supporters of the team. Monthly dues are paid by each member, which also helps in covering the rent for practices and games.
“It’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life for a lot of us. We try to eat right, stay hydrated, exercise, stay constantly promoting and getting out there in the community” added Sarah, emphasizing that helping the community is a huge part of the team. The games are every month on a Saturday, and all ages are welcome. This Saturday, the Roller Rats go against the Prison City Derby Dames of Chino Hills. As always, there will be an after party at Gator’s after the game, open to all fans to join.
Next Saturday is DCRR’s Annual Twisted Scrimmage, which is a fun roller derby game, with some unusual twists and open to all level of skaters. This event takes place every September (National Cancer Awareness Month) and all profits will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through the local Chili’s in Victorville. DCRR is excited to take on this charity function and be able to contribute to St. Jude’s mission of finding cures and saving children. The hospital costs $1 million dollars a day to run and offers free care to families who cannot afford it, so it is a great way to give back. DCRR decided to donate the money through our local Chili’s to support their mission of raising $50 million in 10 years during their annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. As Sarah explained, “We’re trying to help Chili’s raise its goal, help Victorville and the community and help St. Jude’s as well.”