For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humboldt Roller Derby team will be in action Saturday night at Redwood Acres for Humboldt County’s first look at the sport in multiple years.
“We’re nervous. We’re super excited. I think there were definitely moments, during and after the pandemic that we were like, can we even get our league back off the ground?” Humboldt Roller Derby’s pivot Cassie Curatolo said.
It was a long process back for the Roller Derby team, but that’s something that the team is used to. They’ve been practicing for around 12 months, but before players are even able to join the team, they must make their way through the team’s training camp.
“We have a training camp program, people spend about a year in training so we know they can safely skate and have the skills they need to be in the game, but mostly it’s about safety,” Humboldt Roller Derby’s blocker Natalie Arroyo said.
It’s crucial in a sport with this much physicality to make sure that the skaters’ are ready for it. Because that physicality is no joke.
“It is a full contact sport. I mean, we’re in full gear, but we’re less padded than football players throwing each other around on roller skates.” Curatolo said.
The Roller Derby also gives an athletic outlet for women and gender expansive people that’s usually reserved for men.
“There aren’t a lot of inclusive places for people who are gender non-binary to to play sports,” Arroyo said, “anyone who feels like women’s roller derby is the iteration of roller derby for them, we welcome them.”
The doors open at Redwood Acres at 5:00pm on Saturday with the double-header getting started at 6:00, tickets will be available at the door for $15 with fans under 10 getting free admittance.