For those Turlockers looking to make and keep some hardcore New Year's resolutions, try joining the SINtral Valley Derby Girls roller derby club.
According to the team's website, these girls are just as tough and sweet as “chocolate-covered gravel” – and you can be, too.
“You [just] show up and start practicing,” encouraged Christen Broussard, a.k.a Carly Chaos, the Vice President of SVDG. “We don't have formal tryouts and we're always accepting new recruits. We'll usually refer you to our New Skater Rep, Miss RIPLe, for all the information regarding where to find gear, what you need, and where to find the rules set.”
A recruitment event is taking place on Jan. 14 for all those interested in finding out more before coming to a practice. The event will take place from 8 to 9 p.m. and will cover any position within the team. The next practice comes on Jan. 2.
Both events will take place at the SINtral Valley Derby Girls's usual bout and practice location, the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N Broadway, Turlock, building E-1
There are also numerous positions for those who aren’t interested in full-contact skating, including being a referee, a volunteer, or a Non-Skating Official. These positions are just as necessary as the full-contact skaters.
“I joined the team kind of on a whim,” said Broussard, who started roller derby with SVDG in Feb of 2011 and hasn’t left since. “As a teen and young adult I would find things I wanted to do like take up boxing, learn to play guitar, et cetera. I would never follow through with them. When I first heard about roller derby, I actually didn't start right away because I though most teams were 21 and over only.
Broussard went on to say that they this was certainly not the case, and rarely is. She said this is proven by the fact that the SINtral Valley Derby Girls are anxiously awaiting their junior derby players – the Modesto Misfits – to turn 18 so they can join.
“Derby kept my attention for longer than anything else and I have committed to it more than anything else before,” Broussard went on. “I think it's incredibly important for there to be local derby teams because of the atmosphere that comes along with it. We are a group of people with exceptionally different personalities, backgrounds and beliefs, yet we are always accepting of each other.”
Not only is the community open-minded and welcoming, but they stand in defiance of unrealistic beauty ideals perpetuated by the media, encouraging a healthy body rather than a specific shape or size, stating that “most of us envy a big butt or strong, thick thighs.”
“Derby can change your life for the better,” said Broussard. “It can fill whatever hole you feel in your life, whether it be a social outlet, a physical challenge, a desire to contribute in some way to the community or a way to mentor youth all in the most fun way you can imagine. We're a giant family and we have each others' backs both on and off the track and are always looking to grow.”
For those interested in joining, contact Miss RIPLe at firstname.lastname@example.org.