GASTONIA, N.C. - For women, there
are not many ways to stay competitive in athletics as they grow; however, one group of women in Charlotte is finding a way to stay both physically fit and competitive throughout the years.
The Charlotte Speed Demons had their first game in 2010, following the founding of the Race City Roller
Derby, a women's flat track roller derby organization. The RCRD was founded by a group of sports professionals who were passionate about furthering the sport.
The Speed Demons are composed of a group of women throughout the Charlotte area who were looking for something to allow them to pursue or continue their athleticism, and some had never participated in sports before.
Roller Derby is a fast-paced
sport where women skate on quad-skates around an oval track at high speeds. Four women block as one woman passes and with each pass, the team scores a point.
One of the team's players, Genea Swan, explained how she got into the sport.
"I am very competitive, and I hadn't been playing anything, even though I swam in college and played tennis. There aren't a lot of late-night sports for women and there certainly are not a lot of contact sports. So I just came out, watched a practice, started working out with the team and started their player and training program… and here I am today," said Swan.
Any woman interested in joining the
team is able to do so, even if they have never skated before. The only requirements to join the Charlotte Speed Demons' team are that those participating have health insurance and are over the age of 18.
"They will come out and we will teach them the sport," said Swan, "Obviously, people did not play this as kids. So everybody is fresh, everybody is coming in. They might not understand the sport or they might not know the rules. So you come out and we are going to teach you everything."
The player and trainer program is a way for those who want to experience and learn more about roller derby, and hopefully aspire to get better and join the team.
The players will demonstrate and work with aspiring roller derby players to improve their skills.
Swan confessed playing for the team is like being a member of a second family.
To find out more information about the Charlotte Speed Demons, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.