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Editorial: Support the Roller Girls
Whidbey Island’s Roller Girls competitive roller skating team is off to a good start. Their first home match last month drew a sizable crowd to Oak Harbor’s venerable Roller Barn. The Saturday night event also attracted a crew of Oak Harbor High School video students who filmed the contest for the entire community, and play-by-play broadcaster Jerry Oliver did an admirable job of filling air time with commentary about a little-known sport. Those with access to OHHS Channel 21 have been watching the rolling women elbow and push past their competitors for days. Channel 21 probably doesn’t have ratings, but if it did the Roller Girls might well outdraw the lip sync contests.
With the days of local adult baseball teams long gone, Whidbey Island has been without a sporting team to call its own for years. We’ve had semi-pro football, but most players were from off-island. The Roller Girls, ages 18 to 45, aren’t the NFL or Major League Baseball, but they’re our team.
Many of these fearless women have families and jobs, and yet find the time and money to participate in the rough and tumble Roller Derby game. That’s quite a sacrifice for the certainty of being banged up and bruised, all for hope of the thrill of victory.
The Whidbey Island Roller Derby women need support from islanders in the form of business donations and ticket sales to keep their wheels rolling. They dream of some day having a better home rink to call their own. Their next home match at the Roller Barn is Saturday, March 19, at 7 p.m. To find out about helping or joining the team, visit whidbeyderby.wordpress.com.