Gold Star April 2018: Ill PresiDante

Rose City Rollers is happy to present the prestigious Gold Star Volunteer Award to Ill PresiDante (street name Dante Buccieri), an esteemed member of team Zebra. Dante has filled many roles within the league, willing to help where needed and contribute knowledge to all. He loves Rose City, roller derby, his league family, and all the amazing folks he has met along the way. Congratulations Dante, your recognition is well deserved and we here at Rose City Rollers greatly appreciate all your hard work and dedication.

Do you have a favorite team?

Officials aren’t allowed to choose favorites! But seriously, my favorite will always be Team Officials.  There’s an incredible camaraderie within officiating crews, and we regard each other as teammates.  We all are here to bring each other up, and support each other during great games and rough ones.  There is communication, strategy, and best practice sharing, just like any other sports team.  We work together, we train together, we grow together, & we succeed and fail together.  Everyone here has the crew’s best interests at mind.  If that’s not a team, I don’t know what is.  They’ve got my back, and I have theirs.  I wouldn’t trade Team Officials for anything.

 

Why have you stayed involved with RCR?

I’m no different than many folks who joined roller derby.  I never really found a group that I fit in until I found the sport.  When I moved to Portland in 2014, I knew no one but my parents.  RCR officiating and RCR at large took me in with open arms.  The officiating crew has become a surrogate family and that’s meant the world to me.  My derby husband Kill Nye has become one of my best friends within or without derby.  Keiran Duncan and Darth Bling became by mentors.  I’ve gotten to help grow some great officials in Knitty, Doesn’t Matter, Jersey, Xtra Chris P, and too many others to name.  We’re all in this together and we help make world-class roller derby happen.  Team Officials is why I stick around.

 

What has being a RCR volunteer meant to you?

I grew up in the Boy Scouts of America and it instilled me with an appreciation for being part of something bigger than myself.  Being part of Rose City Rollers gives me that same sense of pride and personal satisfaction that what I’m doing matters.  At its core, RCR provides a nurturing space for people to grow and empower themselves through this wonderful and weird game.  Being an official gives me a unique opportunity to watch skaters evolve from Bambi On Ice at their first scrimmage to competing for spots on Wheels of Justice.  I’ve seen people become leaders, teachers, mentors, organizers, and arbiters.  My involvement with RCR means the development of not just our skaters, but also the officiating crew, our announcers, our event staff, and our administrative staff.  This goes beyond teaching people to skate or helping someone understand how to construct a track.  This organization has helped people, myself included, become better versions of themselves.  I can’t ask for a greater sense of satisfaction than being part of an organization that changes lives.

 

Any suggestions for new volunteers or those considering volunteering with RCR?

Don’t get intimidated by the size of RCR.  I started my derby career with Connecticut Roller Derby (formerly CT Roller Girls) and we had about 50 people between skaters, officials, and administrative personnel.  I came to Rose City and was frankly overwhelmed that this league was literally ten times larger than CTRD.  We’re a big organization, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a place.  We want you here, and we want help you in.  Don’t be afraid to ask, and we’ll help you find where you need to be.  

 

Final Thoughts?

I think that sometimes it is difficult for some volunteers to remember that other folks have lives, hobbies, careers, and friends/family outside the Hangar.  Not everyone can volunteer an insane amount of hours, and that’s okay.  There’s a place in RCR for people who’ve organized their lives around roller derby and those who do it for fun.  I think we do a darn fine job of supporting our fellow volunteers, but that doesn’t mean we’re perfect.  Find some time to love and appreciate your fellow volunteers more, and reinforce the positive culture we have here.  Things go haywire once we start to rest on our laurels.  Stay vigilant about honest and open communication, and assume good intent.  We’ve got a great thing going here, and it takes every last one of us to keep our culture positive and welcoming for new and old members alike.

Gold Star Volunteer March 2018: Tammy Lita Sanders

Roller derby is the type of community that draws everyone in – SOs, kids, siblings, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents. And that is exactly how Rose City Rollers met this month’s Gold Star Volunteer winner. Tammy Lita Sanders came to RCR to support her amazing grandkid & Rosebud All-Star Captain Raven Spencer, but discovered a home for herself in the process. Lita (or Loco Lita, if you ask Raven) has taken on the role of Junior Program Merchandiser for all levels at both home and away games. It’s a job that has given her a sense of purpose and she tells us that she can’t imagine not ever being a part of Rose City Rollers and the Rose City Rollers Juniors Program. We’re proud to present Lita with our March Gold Star Volunteer Award – Congratulations, and please don’t ever leave us!

Gold Star Volunteer February 2018: Jasberry

Jasberry (Jasmine Crandall) is the Rose City Rollers Gold Star Volunteer for February. In her time at Rose City, she has taken all the volunteer opportunities thrown at her. Some have fit and some haven’t – She is not shy to tell us what she excels at and what she sucks at (her words, not ours)! Reffing, coaching, NSOing, MSR coordinator and team captain of the Rockets, derby is her jam and she wants to know it on all levels. Jasberry came to roller derby like a lot of us – By accident, coincidence and good fortune. We at Rose City Rollers are so glad she did. Congratulations Jasberry!

Why have you stayed involved with RCR?

What else would I do? When I started I had no idea I would become as involved as I have. I never felt like I had a place before I came to Rose City, but I really feel like I belong here.

What was your favorite volunteer experience?

 

Reffing the WOJ vs Rat game in August of 2017. It was my first D1 game as a ref and it was incredible- I’m really glad it was in The Hangar. I felt like all of the training I’ve received set me up for success and that I made my mentors really proud.

Any suggestions for new volunteers or those considering volunteering with RCR?

Try everything! I worked a bunch of weird positions before I found the ones I do now. Reach out to HV and tell her what your strengths and weakness are- and be honest. If you don’t like leadership positions in real life, you aren’t going to like them in volunteer world. I really thought I would coach more when I tried that, but it turns out I’m just not that great at it and that’s okay! You will find the place you fit in, whether it’s behind the scenes or in the spotlight. There really is a place for everyone here if you’re willing to be part of a community.

Want Exclusive Access to Wednesday Night Bouts? Get a Season Pass Today!

Coming up this Wednesday, the two winners of the 2018 season opener will face off in a private bout at the Hangar. Want to see the two teams battle it out for the top spot in the standings? Make sure you have your season pass, because this bout is only open to season passholders. In addition to admission to all 2018 season Hangar bouts, season passholders get to attend the following private bouts:

01.31 Break Neck Betties vs. Guns N Rollers – Season passholder exclusive!
04.25 High Rollers vs. Heartless Heathers – Season passholder exclusive!

PLUS, RCR 2018 Season Passes have no ticketing fees and include:

  • Early entry to all 2018 season Hangar bouts!
  • Framed 2018 Season Poster!
  • Invites to private league events, including 2 Wednesday night bouts!
  • 15% merchandise discount on RCR branded merchandise.
  • A invite to the RCR league wide year-end picnic.
  • Passes are fully transferable! If you can’t make a bout, you can send a friend!

Reserved Seats Season Pass: $399 ($798 value, a 50% discount)

General Admission Seats Season Pass: $299 ($598 value, a 50% discount)

Both General Admission and Reserved Seating Season Passes allow access to these exclusive Wednesday bouts. Don’t miss a hit – Get your season pass today in the RCR Web Shop.

Rose City Rollers Represent at 2018 Roller Derby World Cup

Portland, OR – The Roller Derby World Cup will be held in Manchester, UK, from February 1st through the 4th, with skaters from Rose City Rollers — the number one ranked roller derby league in North America and the number two ranked roller derby league in the world—contributing skaters to five teams.

Team USA and Team Canada pose for a photograph after a bout at The Hangar in Portland, OR, last summer. (Photography Credit: Regularman Photography)

Bonnie Thunders (Nicole Williams), Jes Rivas, Loren Mutch, Licker-n-Split, and Jessica Chestnut will be skating for Team USA, which will be coached by Drew Flowers, another member of Rose City Rollers. This is the single largest contingent of Rose City Rollers’ skaters playing for a single team at the Roller Derby World Cup. What is more remarkable is the fact that Rose City skaters make up one fifth of Team USA’s 20-person roster.

“Representing USA roller derby at the World Cup is an honor and one of the athletic achievements of my lifetime,” says Jes Rivas. “When I take the track with my teammates in Manchester, I want to skate with the relentless determination, dogged work ethic, and insane talent shared by the giant pool of people who play and make this sport possible.”

Rose City Rollers also will be represented on Team Brazil, Team Russia, Team West Indies, and Team Spain. “Representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Roller Derby World Cup, has brought me closer to my roots, and my entire family,” says Visakha Seon, who normally skates for the Wheels of Justice and the Guns N Rollers. “I am humbled and honored to be a part of this world stage for our sport.”

In addition to the adult skaters, Portland will be sending one of its junior skaters—Square Not (Ridley Liu)—to the International Derby Exhibition at the World Cup. Square Not, who is 14, was invited after submitting a tape of her skating to a selection board. When asked what she wished more people knew about roller derby, she had this to say:

“The movie Whip It! is not what flat-track roller derby is like these days. I wish more people knew about the sport in general.”

Square Not (Ridley Liu), who skates in Rose City Rollers’ Junior Program, will be traveling to England to compete in the International Derby Exhibition. (Photography Credit: Regularman Photography)

BBC Sport will be broadcasting the Roller Derby World Cup finals from Manchester. If you would like to see these athletes skate closer to home, Rose City Rollers’ next home team bouts will take place on February 16 & 17, and its junior programs will play a double header on February 18. For tickets, please visit the Events page.

Lifer Award Winners 2018: Effy and Minstrel Psycho

Rose City Rollers is excited to be able to award two amazing volunteers with the Life Award again this year. Congratulations to Effy and Minstrel Psycho for dedicating so much time, love and energy to this league. We would not be who we are today without you!

Name: Effy
Years in roller derby: 8
Roles in the league: A little bit of everything… most recently WoJ team manager and NSO!
What brought you to Rose City Rollers? I had just turned 19 and was looking for a community to call my own
What does volunteering with RCR mean to you? I like that it feels like I’m part of something kind of secret but that also has a big impact within the derby community in general. It’s really amazing to see how derby had changed so many peoples lives.

Photo by Upswept Creative

Name: Minstrel Psycho/Cindy Young
Years in roller derby: 10 yrs
Roles in the league: Banner girl, Ex-Travel Team skater, Current Home team skater, Training Committee, Co-Chair Accountability Committee, Rose Bud coach, Voice of reason and of course Grandmotherly duties.
What brought you to Rose City Rollers? My love for Roller Derby! Hitting and getting hit! Nothing better!
What does volunteering with RCR mean to you? It’s so important to me. To lift, empower and support women and young girls to thrive in all they do. To watch the growth of a new skater is so exciting! These women and young girls inspire me everyday.

Derby as a global community

Want a free Rose City Rollers T-Shirt?

Who doesn’t want a (another) derby t-shirt?

And a free one at that?

Get out of here, right?

One of the discussions that we have been having here in The Hangar is about the scope of our audience: who you are, where you are, what you’re like, etc. Sure, we could run Google Analytics or Twitter Analytics but, hey, let’s be honest, those things don’t say much about you as a person. If there’s one thing that we know about the people who play and watch derby, it’s that they—you— are more than a “unique visitor per month.”

Derby is a global community. We all know this. Everyone says it all the time. For once, though, it would be great to see that idea be demonstrated as a reality. Let’s use the Intertubes to hammer the point home.

We hosted the London Rollergirls at our Hometown Throwdown this past year, we skated against Argentina’s 2×4 Roller Derby and Montreal’s New Skids on the Block in Seattle; and we enjoyed watching Malmö and skating against Melbourne at the Championships in Philadelphia. Do we have anyone from Japan following us? South Africa? Ireland? Finland?

With that in mind, we thought that we would start off 2018 with a little fun: take a photo of yourself holding a sign that mentions the Rose City Rollers in a friendly and fun way along with where you are taking the photo and, if you happen to be the person furthest away from The Hangar (45.4719, -122.6616), we will send you a t-shirt.

The rules (such as they are):

  • Post your photo on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram;
  • Be sure to tag us (i.e., post to our Facebook page, “at” us on our Twitter account, etc.);
  • If you use Twitter, let’s try something else: tag the photo with #wearederby to see if we can’t maybe get this to trend;
  • As many people can be in the photo as you want (i.e., your team, your league, your friends) but only one shirt is going out (like every roller derby league, we are, at the end of the day, a non-profit);
  • Be awesome. If you are involved in or follow derby, you are awesome; we want to see that awesomeness in how you approach the photo (read: we don’t get out as much as we’d like so your photos give us a chance to live vicariously through you); and
  • The contest will close on 12 January 2018 at 5:00 p.m. PST (the day before our 2018 season kicks off!).

Oh, while the person who submits the photo (or their designated recipient) wins the t-shirt, we will have two “honorable mentions.” This will be our (completely arbitrary and non-quantifiable) way of recognizing a great submission (same basic rules apply though).

We look forward to seeing, and getting to know, more of you!

Gold Star Volunteer December 2017: Andy Oakley

Rose City Rollers is pleased to present the Gold Star Volunteer Award for December to Andy Oakley. Andy consistently goes above and beyond for the league and promotes the mission of the league through service and dedication. As a coach, NSO, bout coordinator and home team skater, Andy has put her stamp just about everywhere in the league. She truly exemplifies what roller derby, community, and giving means to us here in the Rose City.

Andy Oakley #22

Why have you stayed involved with RCR?
I was never really athletic growing up, but being a part of roller derby has taught me that my body can do so many things!  I also have teammates that are very supportive of me, which helps when I’m having a hard time (in skating or in life!).  I also really like working with the Rockets, and seeing how much better they get at skating in just a short time.  This is also true of the juniors – I’ve coached some of them since they started skating, and now some of the same skaters are part of our Rosebuds Travel Team.

What has being a RCR volunteer meant to you?
I get to spend my time doing what I love!  I think getting to travel to other leagues when officiating or even skating has shown me that RCR has really great officials and volunteers.  We run top-notch bouts, we train officials and volunteers really well, and although sometimes we may think things are not running completely smoothly, we really do have organization to all the chaos.  Rose City is a really big league and I meet new volunteers almost every time I show up to the hangar!

Do you have a favorite team?
My team, of course, the High Rollers!  (The High Rollers were always my favorite home team even when they lost every game in one season)  But I am also a fan of the Wreckers, the Rockets, the Rosebuds, and the Wheels of Justice.  We have some pretty sweet teams at Rose City.

Do you have a favorite skater/official/volunteer?
I really look up to Hannah Jennings on Wheels of Justice.  She is smart, hard working and confident – I’d like to be like her as a skater.   I think my favorite official would have to be Darth Bling – he puts so much time and effort into getting better and making the whole league better, from officials to skaters.

On Being Thankful… and Giving

 

As we emerge from our turkey- and pie-induced hazes, we want to take a moment—even if we are a little late—to give a little thanks:

 

Photo: Regularman Photography

To our fans: Whether you are a family members, a friend or coworker of an acquaintance, or a Portlanders who see Rose City Rollers as a unique part of our city’s sports and social fabric, you are awesome. The energy you bring to our bouts, and the warmth you show our skaters and the teams that come to play us, fuels us. Thank you!

To our sponsors: Deciding where to put one’s marketing dollar is never easy: choosing to support Rose City Rollers means the world to us. Your support enables us to continue serving women and girls who want to play roller derby and, through roller derby, helping them realize their power both on skates and off. Thank you!

 

 

Photo: Regularman Photography

To our skaters and the international derby community. Derby is a special and awesome community. Regardless of which of our eleven programs you skate in, the commitment, energy, and enthusiasm you bring to the game is what makes Rose City Rollers so special. This is every bit as true for our counterparts around America and the world: Victorian, Gotham, Denver, Minnesota, Texas, London, Angel City, Atlanta, Rat City, 2×4, Montreal, Arch Rival, and all the others: thank you for skating hard against us and making the derby community the vibrant global community that it is!

 

 

Today is #GivingTuesday and Rose City Rollers, as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, could use your help. Our effort to find a new home consumes a lot of our time, attention, and energy but the fact is there are a lot of ways for you to support us: come to our bouts, show your support by sporting our merchandise, make a one-time gift donation, become a monthly sustaining member, have your employer match the gift you make to Rose City Rollers, make an in-kind donation, or support us indirectly through Fred Meyers’ Reward Card or through Amazon Smile. Take a look at our Donations page to learn more.

 

 

 

Gold Star Volunteer November 2017: Fleur de Lethal

Rose City Rollers is proud to recognize Fleur de Lethal as our November Gold Star Volunteer. If you started your derby journey in Derby 101, chances are you’ve been coached by Fleur de Lethal. Her style of coaching is the perfect combination of guide, mentor, and no-nonsense, fostering a sense of courageousness and can-do attitude for skaters. Her contributions to the league don’t end with coaching – She has done a little bit of everything, including NSOing. We are so happy she is our November Gold Star and excited to see what the future holds for her with our league.

What was/has your favorite volunteer experience been?

Getting to work this past year on the new league MSR system has been incredibly rewarding. I love seeing the entire league work together to problem solve and grow and move forward in this sport. I am so very proud of everything we have been able to accomplish and I feel like RCR is a true leader in the world of roller derby, not just through our skaters’ skills, but in our ability to function cohesively as a large league and leverage the strengths of our members to be the strengths of our league.

What has being in RCR volunteer meant to you?

This sport and this league have given so much value to my life, that volunteering is a way I can give back and also help support the journeys of each new wave of individuals who come to RCR to find strength, support, community, and engagement in their lives. It takes a village to raise a league and we are so much stronger together.

Is there anything RCR could do better for its volunteers?

Some of the most rewarding volunteering I have done with RCR has come from me recognizing areas of improvement and finding ways I can use my strengths to help create the growth I am passionate about. Things change in this league when people are passionate about the possibility of growth and are willing to do the hard work to get there. I think sometimes with a league of this size it’s easy to feel like it’s too large for anyone to have an effect on it, and that can be frustrating or demoralizing for folks who see the things in the league that are not so great, who are waiting for RCR to fix the issues. I want RCR to continue to message the reality that all league members are capable of affecting the change they want to see and it is the responsibility of ALL of us to step up and help move RCR forward. It’s easy to get burned out being in one role for too long, and I think it’s important to share the load and shift tasks frequently to make sure I, as a volunteer, am always excited and passionate about the work I am doing, and enjoying my engagement, so I can always bring my best self to my volunteerism.