Roller Derby is the fastest growing sport in America, and Quincy has it's very own team, the Dark River Derby Coalition. We asked one it's members, Tarra Lip-off, to give us the low down on this exciting and action packed sport.

How long have you been involved in roller derby?

I have been playing with the Dark River Derby Coalition since November 2010, that’s when my life changed forever! That’s the day that Roller Derby saved my soul.

Tell us about the Dark River Derby Coalition. What makes it so great?

The DRDC is not only a roller derby team but they are also my family. We are a strong group of individuals that encourage one another to better ones self on a daily basis. We have a diverse group of powerful women from many lines of professions. I am proud of my league in not only our achievements on the track( undefeated) but off of the track as well. This sisterhood provides so much of their time to help several organizations in the community. We have raised money for local organizations such as: Special Olympics, Quanada, Young life, St Jude, Kids in Motion, Blessing Breast Cancer Center, Rescued Angels, and many, many more. Not only do we help raise money but we also volunteer our time to help lots of organizations when they hold events as well.

How often do you have bouts?

Our roller derby season usually starts around March/April and ends in October, but we practice three days a week year round. Being in a competitive league never stops. This season our schedule is 1 bout a month at home and 1 bout a month away.

You travel a lot don't you? Where are some of the most fun places the team has traveled?

We travel not only for away bouts but also to further our education in derby skills and business. One of the best places I've personally experienced was Las Vegas! Several ladies from my league flew to Vegas for an event called RollerCon, RollerCon is an annual week long event that is packed full of education from thousands of top skaters in the world. I got to meet and skate with people from all over the world and learned so much, because that is how derby works. Opposing skaters help one another always to build one another up not only physically but also spiritually. I also skated the strip, which was a major highlight of my trip!

We love derby names. Give us some examples of some of the best.

One of the cool things about a roller derby name is that no two names are alike! They have a roller derby bank of names and it is protocol to make sure you have an original name. A lot of players use a play on words, or maybe a personal hobby influenced them in choosing their name. When I was choosing my name, I knew I wanted to be intimidating and sound tough. It represents your alter ego in a way. Here are some fun ones: Jackie Daniels, Adolf hits her, Booty and the Beast, Fist called Wanda and if I didn’t mention some of my teammates I’m sure to be in trouble so Al B Hatin, Nancy Killagain, Hurricane Sasha, Laneacious, Shark Bait and Rosanne Scar to be brief and possibly get myself in trouble because I didn’t mention all of them, lol.

You have a new junior league right?

We are excited to announce that we have started a junior derby league and kids from 6-16 are skating every Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Scottie’s Fun Spot.

I hear a men's league will be starting too?

That is something that is in serious discussion right now and we are currently looking for men interested. This is the largest growing sport in the nation that started with women and has grown into men’s, junior, coed, and even college leagues forming everywhere!

I know you're always looking for new people to get involved. How can people do that?

Yes we are, I talk about derby all of the time and get really excited when someone wants to know more about it! Even if you don’t know how to skate and want to help us we need volunteers all of the time. It takes a lot of people to keep track of everything and we need helpers from announcers, referees, NSO (non skating official) we will train you until you are comfortable and give lots of free hugs for our appreciation! Log onto Facebook and our Dark River Derby Coalition webpage.

J Barry Wright