The Central Michigan Roller Derby team has more than the speed, strategy and athleticism the sport requires. It also has a large heart.
The non-profit organization donates a portion of the $8 presale and $10 door tickets it earns at each bout to a different charity.
Following Saturday’s bout are one March 23, May 18 and June 1. The schedule is online at www.centralmirollerderby.com.
League President Kristen Saxton, who goes by the roller derby name Krush, said the team enjoys playing a role in the community.
“For each of our bouts, we choose a charity and donate a portion of the proceeds,” Saxton said. “We love to give back to the community.”
Through athletic events, the ladies have donated to numerous organizations, including S.A.N.E., a service of Woman’s Aid, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The group, which formed from a Facebook post, has already drawn in quite a crowd since its formation in October 2010.
Sara Potter, who goes by Doctor Potter on the rink, said the team works hard to get the word out by putting up flyers and posters to advertise bouts and events.
“We go out and talk to people to make them aware that the awesome sport of roller derby is right here in central Michigan,” she said. “Derby is a fun, fast-paced sport that is exciting to play and exciting to watch.”
The team currently has 14 skaters on its roster, two referees and several new skaters who joined during “Fresh Meat February,” a month-long recruitment drive when the league waives the usual $5 trial fee.
“It’s an incentive for (skaters) to come learn the ropes of derby at no out-of-pocket cost,” Potter said.
Potter said the prospect of trying a new sport drew her to the team, and after playing for two years, she said it’s the challenge and relationships she formed that keep her coming back.
“I realized that it is the combination of two things that keep me enthralled with the sport – athletic challenge and working together with amazing teammates,” she said. “It is an experience like no other.”
Saxton echoed Potter’s affection for the sport.
“It’s so fantastic because it is mostly just women, and if you’re a guy and you want to get into we can always use refs,” Saxton said. “It’s something you fall in love with.”
Anyone interested in more information can stop by Spinning Wheels Area, 1241 N. Mission Road, Mondays 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Thursdays 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.