Pride Fundraiser: Spectrum Youth & Family Services

Green Mountain Roller Derby unfortunately had to cancel the Pride-themed bout we were planning to host in May. We are, of course, heartbroken that we won’t be on the track, but we were also disappointed that we’d be unable to host our celebration of LGBTQ Pride. So, we decided to run a Pride campaign anyway, and we are asking fans to donate the price of a bout ticket to Spectrum Youth and Family Services to support their COVID-19 response to LGBTQ youth.

It’s a sad fact that nationally, about 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and the youth Spectrum serves are no different. For many youth, Spectrum is one of the first places where they feel seen and heard by adults.

For the price of a GMRD ticket ($6 for children, $8 for students, seniors and miltary, and $10 for adults), you can help teenagers and young adults who identify as LGBTQ get the help they need when they need it most: a warm meal, a place to sleep, counseling, mentoring, or coaching on life skills.

Please visit https://donate.spectrumvt.org/gmrd to make your donation today. We thank you for making sure our community’s LGBTQ youth have someone to turn to during this pandemic.

CANCELED: March 21, 2020 Home Game

Dear Green Mountain Roller Derby Community and Friends,

In an effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Vermont and other nearby states and provinces, Green Mountain Roller Derby has decided to cancel our March 21st bout. This was not a easy decision, but the health and safety of our skaters, officials, volunteers, fans, and the wider community are our priority. We are deeply grateful for your commitment and support, and apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause. Online ticket holders will be refunded through our ticketing vendor. Our mission has always been about bringing people together, and empowering the community. We hope that we will have your continued support in the future.

Green Mountain Roller Derby Board of Directors

March 21st, 2020: Be Your Own Superhero

Join Green Mountain Roller Derby for our second bout of the season! Last month we joined the Burlington High School girls’ soccer team in supporting the #EqualPay movement and Vermont Change the Story. At our March 21st  bout, and for the rest of our season, we will continue our mission of empowering women and non-binary individuals in athletics and the work place by partnering with Vermont Works for Women.

Green Mountain Roller Derby seeks to empower women personally and athletically, striving toward goals of strength, respect, and sportswoman-ship on and off the track. We view these values as essential both to a skater and a community member, however they do not all fall inside the gender norms we are pressured to exist within. In this way, it only makes sense that GMRD would partner with Vermont Works for Women.

Vermont Works for Women’s mission is to “[help] women and girls recognize their potential and explore, pursue, and excel in work that leads to economic independence.” The organization’s emphasis on non-traditional careers helps women and girls acquire the skills and confidence needed to earn jobs in male dominated industries such as skilled trades and STEM careers. 

As our non-profit for the season, Vermont Works for Women will receive the all the proceeds from our 50/50 raffle. Join us for the action and in support of Vermont women and girls in athletics and the work place!

To learn more about Vermont Works for Women’s powerful work, visit their website, https://www.vtworksforwomen.org/.

Roller Derby and the Value of Having Space to Suck at Something New

By Kim Claire

During a long overdue visit last summer, my long distance best friend, Cait, stood in my kitchen, their luggage still hanging off their shoulders, and gushingly they blurted out, “I joined a roller derby team!” 

Just the words “roller derby” sent me careening back in my memory to a time when joining ranks of “derby girls” was our shared dream. In junior high school, we sat screaming in the crowd at local bouts, buying t-shirts and merch, idolizing the skaters, and fantasizing about the day when it could be us on the track.

Of course as junior high schoolers, that day was far off—our dream sat safely on the horizon, where we could look at it, dazzle in its novelty, but we never had to deal with the terrifying prospect of working to make it come true. 

But here was Cait ten years later, standing proudly in my kitchen, a newly inducted member of the Dire Skates. By then I had come to terms with the unlikelihood of my derby dreams. It had joined the ranks of my other childhood dreams of becoming a famous rock star and marrying Harry Potter in unreality. Not because skating was such a ridiculous idea, but because I was afraid to try out.

I’m obviously not the first person to grow up socialized as a woman, or black in a white neighborhood, but the pressure that comes with those identities a profound effect on me. When I walked into a room, spoke up in class, or tried anything that fell outside of my assigned stereotypes, I knew that to many onlookers I represented all women, all black people. I grew up in a fish bowl and the weight of so many eyes gave me a crushing fear of trying anything new where I might stumble in front of a crowd.  

Trying to enter the tight knit community of roller derby, not knowing the rules or how to go about it, and skating for the first time in years? Checked all the wrong boxes. So rather than feeling the excitement of possibility at Cait’s news, I may have felt a tiny bit jealous. Cait had done the impossible. 

Luckily Cait is also a very good person and friend who, probably noticing my jealousy and being kind enough to push past it, sat me down and told it to me straight. 

“Look, you could do this too,” Cait had said, unpacking their bags.  “It’s eas—” Cait stopped. “It’s not easy. But it’s possible!”

Was the pep talk enough banish my anxiety and buy a pair of skates that night? Hell no! But it got me googling, and under Cait’s persistent pressure it was enough to get me to sign up for Green Mountain Roller Derby’s rookie bootcamp.

I showed up to that first practice sweating before I’d even gotten through the warm-up. I laced up my borrowed skates with shaking hands, covertly checking out the other rookies. I could tell from sight that our group ranged in age, but what I couldn’t see was the real diversity of the rookies. We were recent college grads, moms, business owners, and people just trying to figure it out. When everyone was ready, we circled up on the track. We shared names, pronouns, professions, and skating experience. Most in the group had never skated, or at least hadn’t skated in years. 

The vet skaters gave us a pep talk, something about how just by being here, no matter the skill level, we were doing more than most others to become skaters. It was reassuring, made me smile for sure, but for the most part it was talk. What really let the tension out of my gut was what happened next.

“Alright, we’re gonna start with the basics,” one vet skater, Folsom, said. I wasn’t sure what that would mean. Basics of skating? Hitting? Would there be a speed test? (That last guess was ridiculous of course, something I saw in a movie.) “First we’re going to learn how to skate in derby stance, then we’ll move on to how to fall.”

That was the first thing we learned—how to stand and how to fall.  And we did fall. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. More than I’ve fallen in years, certainly more than I’ve allowed myself to fall in front of others. But that’s the thing about derby—falling is bred into its DNA. 

Any teacher, yogi, sensei, sage, or mentor will tell you that there’s value in failure, but we don’t exactly live in a society that encourages it. By the time I started the rookie boot camp with GMRD, no one had really asked me to do something new, like new new, like no-clue-how-never-tried-it new, in at least a couple years. 

It is humbling but also freeing to try something, to know you’ll suck because that’s how it works, and be supported in trying it anyways. Roller derby provides that space to folks who, in my experience, could use a bit more space to try, fall, and try again.

The #EqualPay Game – February 1st, 2020

Inspired by the Burlington High School girls soccer team and Change the Story VT, we’re dedicating our first game of 2020 to the #EqualPay movement! (If you haven’t heard of the waves they’re making, check it out here: equalpayjerseys.com

Green Mountain Roller Derby is entirely skater owned and operated, which means our members work just as hard off the track to keep the league running. GMRD skaters are made up from an exceptional group of women and non-binary individuals, varying in professional backgrounds and across many disciplines including: healthcare, engineering, education, hospitality, social work, business and non-profit sectors. Securing women’s financial and economic freedom is personal for us.

Our organization’s aim is to empower women personally and athletically through the sport of roller derby. As a part of our mission statement, we strive to be a positive force in our community.There is a persistent wage gap in the state of Vermont and nationwide that has complexity far beyond the conversations we’ve typically heard. Join us in this conversation and supporting the organizations challenging the status quo each day to make real, consequential change.  

The Vermont Women’s Fund will be our non-profit, receiving all proceeds from our 50/50 raffle for the evening. Come out to catch all the action on February 1st and support the Vermont Women’s Fund in conjunction with Change the Story and Vermont Works for Women in their impactful work throughout the state of Vermont and beyond. To further promote palpable change, the Vermont League of Women Voters and the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance will be on site to register new voters and educate our community!

You can find more at changethestoryvt.org

As well as their Women, Wages and Work report just released: https://changethestoryvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/WomenWorkWages2019.pdf

Junior Derby

We’re dedicated to changing the story for girls in our community.

Founded in July 2013, the Minor Catastrophes are Vermont’s first and only all-girls junior roller derby team. They are enthusiastic members of Green Mountain Roller Derby and range in ages from grades two to twelve. GMRD proudly partners with Essex Junction Recreation & Parks to provide an empowering and positive sports experience for girls. See our juniors in action with their game open to the public in May of 2020!

Green Mountain vs Fog City – June 1st, 2019

Come see Green Mountain Roller Derby‘s last home game of the spring season at the Champlain Valley Exposition on Saturday, June 1st! Tickets are on sale now through Seven Days Tickets.

Doors open at 5:00pm, first whistle at 6:00pm

Green Mountain Roller Derby is facing off against the Fog City Rollers (Saint John Roller Derby) in an exciting single-header bout. In addition to the game, we’re also featuring a special appearance by Vermont’s only junior roller derby team, the Minor Catastrophes, a silent auction, and beer served by Switchback Brewing Company. Join in all the excitement, athleticism, and fun of women’s flat track roller derby right in your own backyard! We’ll see you trackside.

Visit our merch table to get your hands on our brand new shirt designs for 2019, and learn how you can get involved in roller derby.

Green Mountain Roller Derby Spring Season Opener 2019 – March 30th, 2019

Come see Green Mountain Roller Derby’s first home game of the spring season at the Champlain Valley Exposition on Saturday, March 30th!

Doors open at 5:00pm, first whistle at 6:00pm

Green Mountain Roller Derby is facing off against Central Maine Derby in an exciting single-header bout. Join in all the excitement, athleticism, and fun of women’s flat track roller derby right in your own backyard! We’ll see you trackside.

Tickets are on sale now! Purchase yours online through Seven Days Tickets, or at the door.

Visit our merch table to get your hands on our brand new shirt designs for 2019, and learn how you can get involved in roller derby.

Green Mountain Roller Derby Family Feud Home Bout! October 20th, 2018

Green Mountain Roller Derby is excited to be playing against themselves this Saturday, October 20th in their Family Feud bout! The league will be split into two team, Ghosts (white) and Ghouls (black), and will have to face each other as opponents instead of teammates!

What’s really exciting, and challenging, about creating two opposing teams out of one league, is that both teams practice the same drills and are taught the same strategic game plans. Being able to anticipate what the other team will do is an advantage, but it’s one that both teams will have on each other. Playing against each other also allows for a lot of growth as a team; playing a competitive sport against the people you usually work with to compete against other leagues will give good insight on the skills and maneuvers that are successful as well the ones that aren’t so successful. GMRD will really be able to utilize this experience to structure future practices in a way that benefit the players and their learning curves.

Speaking of learning curves, every player on this team has spent countless hours practicing, and among them all are some new skaters. GMRD is thrilled to be welcoming three new players onto the track with them for this game. Kurt Copain, Executie, and Dictator Tot (a graduate of GMRD’s junior league Minor Catastrophes), are all rolling onto the track for their first bout! All three of them have pushed themselves so hard to get to where they are now and have gained the skills and have the perseverance to make it through an entire bout. The league is so proud of the work and commitment they’ve put into derby! Also debuting at this game are two new referees! GMRD is beyond appreciative to anyone who is willing to learn all there is to know about reffing for a roller derby bout. There is an array of rules set by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association that are known to be updated every now and then that every ref needs to learn and be able to spot on the track. Roll for Damage and Slothzilla have been familiarizing themselves with these rules and working hard on becoming amazing refs. GMRD is so happy and thankful to have them on board for our Family Feud bout. Just like any family, this bout will be filled with members new and old, both on and off the track!

At every bout, GMRD partners with a local non-profit in an effort to give back to the community. For this game, they have partnered with Steps to End Domestic Violence(STEPS), an organization in Chittenden County whose mission is to “… assist in the transition to a safe, independent life for all those who have been affected physically, sexually, emotionally, or economically by domestic abuse and to promote a culture that fosters justice, equity and safety.” GMRD feels strongly about the efforts that this organization puts forward towards helping those affected by domestic abuse, and to help them raise funds, GMRD will be holding a 50/50 raffle to benefit them. When you come to the game, make sure to buy some raffle tickets and check our their table for more information on ways you can help and for informative pamphlets. In the meantime, check our their website : https://www.stepsvt.org/

Green Mountain Roller Derby wants to thank you all in advance for coming to our game, for your support of roller derby, our non-profit STEPS, and everyone that puts tireless hours of work into running the league. Make sure you visit our merch table to get your hands on our brand new shirt designs for 2018, and learn how you can get involved in roller derby!

Game details:

Saturday, October 20th at the Champlain Valley Exposition.
Doors open at 5:00 pm, first whistle at 6:00 pm

You can take advantage of presale prices at the seven days tickets link below:
FREE Ages 6 & under
$6 Ages 7-12
$8 Seniors, Students, & Military
$10 Adult
Plus fees & taxes

https://sevendaystickets.com/events/green-mountain-roller-derby-home-game-10-20-18

If you purchase tickets at the door, prices will be as follows:

FREE Ages 6 & under
$6 Ages 7-12
$10 Seniors, Students, & Military
$12 Adult
Plus fees & taxes

4th Annual Skates Take Over Akes Celebration

Our annual fundraiser, Skates Take Over Akes, is back for the 4th year in a row!

Come join Green Mountain Roller Derby on Friday, September 28th for a night of fun at Akes Place in downtown Burlington, as we raffle off gift baskets donated by our generous sponsors. Follow along with our Skates Take Over Akes event on Facebook to see what’s up for grabs. You won’t want to miss these amazing prizes!

Where: Akes’ Place
When: Friday, September 28th 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Raffle tickets are $1 each/$5 arm’s length/$10 wingspan

All of the money GMRD raises will go back into the organization to help put on our games and pay for practice space. Donations are always welcome!

This event is 21+

Interested in sponsoring a basket? Let us know!

 

Rookie Blog – Just Betty

I hear it over and over again from my fairly new co workers (I have been at my job for 8 months). “You do Roller Derby?” “Isn’t that a tough sport?” “You don’t seem like a roller derby girl”…

What is a roller derby girl anyway? At GMRD I have met ladies from every walk of life. In their 20s, 30s, 40s, professional, athletic, never worked out until now (that’s me), timid, loud, tall, short, big and small!

We all have one thing in common, a drive to push our selves, even on our worst days. We also have a confidence that can only come from an incredible supportive community.

I was at a point in my life where I needed to shake things up. I was sitting at home one night feeling lonely and sad. A blast came across my Facebook feed for a GMRD rookie night and I said why not!

That was in January and I am so glad I went. I ice skated when I was younger, but had done nothing athletic in years! (And dont worry if you have never been on any kind of skate, blades or wheels, you’ll be fine!)

That first practice kicked my ass but I never felt better! I am taking it one practice at a time and after my second attempt I passed my first assesments and took my first hit (in training, totally expected) and it hurt! But guess what I am going back, I will get stronger and more stable on my skates and I will hit back (in a regulated non penalty causing way)!

So to all of you I say yes. I AM A DERBY GIRL. No matter what you see when you look at me. This journey has just begun and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!

Yours truly, Just Betty 84