Roller Vixens Skate In For Another Season
Grand Island, NE —
The orange and black are back and sporting some black and blue bruises - the price of loving roller derby says Charlotte Kaeding.
“I really like hitting people,” Kaeding says with a laugh. “That’s the part I really like, but I really like the physical, being athletic, and spending time with people I care about.”
The team is skating for about their fifth year now, and Kaeding, who goes by ‘Cluster Chuck’ on the track, says things are looking up for the Platte Valley Roller Vixens.
“I definitely think that we’re starting to build a fanbase, which is something that’s taken time, but that’s been really awesome to watch. But I do think it’s growing, I think more people are signing up to participate, between volunteers, refs, and even skaters, so it is growing. Slowly, but it’s growing,” she says.
Teammate Ana Moyers says she spotted a derby flier at the mall and immediately signed up for the all-female, self-coached, non-profit. She says she expected to join a league to keep athletics a part of her life, but instead found a big family.
“Most difficult team I’ve ever been on, but everything is so rewarding - just to see how many people care and are here today, and just how the hard work of everyone comes together, it’s such a big community,” Moyers says.
Difficult she says in that the skaters do their own fundraising and seek sponsorships to get them through their four month season.
“It’s interesting because when things like this, when our actual bouts come together, you realize how many people had a part in that, everybody’s responsible for being on a committee, so it kind of takes our whole group to get this together and make it happen,” says Kaeding.
One of their taglines is “Don’t Worry, It Doesn’t Hurt to Watch,” as flat track derby involves a lot of pushing, shoving, and falling. But the players say they hope to send a message about being tough, being a good teammate, and getting involved in the community as well.
With Valentine’s Day weekend being their season opener, the Roller Vixens say it’s less candy and flowers and more “shove at first sight” on the track, but when the bout is over, they hang out with their opponents and fans, keeping it friendly while competitive.
“I think it’s cool to be a strong, independent young woman, and just be cool with yourself. Like Valentine’s is all about love, but sometimes you’re independent, you know, you got to hang out by yourself and be comfortable with who you are too,” says Moyers.
“If you want to do something and you want to be physical, you want to be athletic - play derby. It’s an awesome experience and it’s a really good way for strong women to get together,” says Kaeding.
Each year the team supports a local organization; this year they’ve chosen the Central Nebraska Humane Society.