Photo by Andrew Richardson
Women-dominated sport gains traction in Northwest Houston
Roller derby has steadily gained momentum in Northwest Houston after a league called Northside Fury formed more than a year ago.
Drawing women from as far as Magnolia, Tomball and Katy, the league grew from a handful of skaters to more than 60.
“It is really popular now and there are leagues forming all over the place,” said Amity Saye, roller derby participant. “Every week we seem to add a couple more. We got a lot of publicity over the last eight or nine months and we are trying to get out in the community so people know about us.”
Northside Fury is always looking for new recruits. In January, about 30 women came to the league’s practice to check it out.
The league practices every Monday and Wednesday night at Champions Rollerworld in Spring, with the first and third Wednesday of the month serving as new skater orientation night. The sign up fee is $30 and monthly dues are $50.
Northside Fury has a 10-game season, with home games contested at Champions Rollerworld.
Krystal Schroeder and Kristina Denison are the two founding members of the league. They started it because the closest place to play was two hours away. It did not take long to spark interest.
“I have always been athletic, whether it was bike riding or rollerblading and I was looking to join a sport,” Saye said. “This is perfect. It’s a weekly activity that I can do to stay in shape.”
The roster is made up of 14 women, and there are five skaters to a rink during games. Depending on skill level, trainers help skaters work their way up the ranks from “new girl” to intermediate to advanced groups.
The league seeks women of every shape and size. Saye is 4-foot-11-inches tall so she makes a good blocker, which are smaller women with the ability to weave in and out of the pack. They assist the team’s jammers, who tend to be bigger women, to progress through the pack to score points and hinder the opposing jammer. There is also the pivot position that could go from blocker to jammer on the fly.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s so addictive that after the first time I practiced I was hooked,” Saye said. “Its fun to be a part of a group of women that encourage you. After a week of dealing with work and children, we are ready to let out some aggression and knock somebody down.”
The league practices every Monday and Wednesday night. The sign up fee is $30 and monthly dues are $50.
- Mouth guard
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
- Wrist guards
- Quad roller skates
* Gear is available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis
Northside Fury Roller Derby, Champions Rollerworld, 5504 Fellowship Lane, Spring, www.northsidefury.com