Let Your Girl’s Inner RAD Shine

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Huntsville has a history of being a Pioneer – mostly in space, biotechnology, and defense. But did you know our city is currently blazing another trail… one in women’s – no, GIRL’s – athletics?

The Rocket City is now home to Alabama’s first junior roller derby team, the Rolling Arsenal of Derby Recruits, and they want YOUR daughters. RAD is hosting a Junior Bootcamp this month to teach potential team members all about the fastest-growing women’s sport in the nation. Who needs cheerleading or ballet? Girls between the ages of 8 – 18 can now be a part of something truly revolutionary, while doing something fun and getting some great exercise.

According to their mission, RAD Recruits are “dedicated to learning the sport while respecting themselves, teammates, coaches, officials, fans and opponents; girls learn that whether on the track or on the sideline, their behavior affects everyone else, how they play, and how they enjoy the game. All of this knowledge is used by the girls to build healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy lifestyles.” How great is that???

As a former derby girl myself, I can attest to the amazing benefits of this exciting sport: the camaraderie of being a part of a team, the exhilaration of flying around the track, the surges of adrenaline as you try to muscle your way through the pack. I only wish the resurging interest in roller derby had been around when I was 14 – I can imagine what it would’ve done for my self-confidence.

Head Coach Leslie Graham has already seen it with her team. “It’s been amazing to see some of these girls’ transformation after joining [the team]. They’re walking taller, smiling more, and growing in confidence and self-esteem.”

The RAD Recruits and their parent team, the Rolling Arsenal of Derby Girls, practice and play at Aldersgate on the Parkway, and are sponsored by Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Bootcamp started January 9th but will be held every Monday and Thursday night through January 26th. Bootcampers who wish to stay on and join the league can do so on the last day of camp.

What about your sons, you say? Well, derby girls need referees, and there will be a special part of the Bootcamp that will train boys in the art of roller derby rules and calls.

Kids that are interested should already know how to recreationally skate, but don’t have to be experts. Bootcamp will teach you all you need to know and strengthen a beginning skater into an intermediate skater. For details, a list of gear you’ll need and to sign up online go here.

© 2012 Angela Zaborny. These are some pretty RAD local girls.