Kill Devil Derby Brigade rolls out the welcome mat to interested skaters

Published 3:29 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

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By Judy Stiles

The Kill Devil Derby Brigade (KDDB) is rolling strong in the Outer Banks. The group, after facing multiple obstacles, including losing their practice area and the COVID-19 shutdown, is rallying to recruit new team members and to build a robust squad ready to take on competitors in 2023.

Rodanthe resident Abbe Pass (derby name: Moxie Oxenfree) serves as president of the nonprofit Kill Devil Derby Brigade Inc. Pass and Kill Devil Hills resident Amy Deligio (derby name: Matilda the Hunis) lead the team.

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Roller derby is played by two teams on roller skates. Points are scored when an offensive player from one team, known as the jammer, laps a member of the opposing team. Pass described roller derby as a non-violent contact sport that is an aggressive, hard-hitting, strategic game played with rules that send players to the penalty box if there are illegal hits.

“Roller skating is amazing for the community. It is a way to stay active without feeling like you are staying active,” said Pass. “We try to foster the benefits of skating first before roller derby. Roller derby is so much fun because of the people I get to skate with.”

Currently there are 11 players on the team. Women from all walks of life – including moms, teachers, business owners, a carpentry assistant and an Airbnb manager – come to practice with the shared goal of improving skating skills and playing roller derby.

Becoming a strong roller derby team is about honing skating skills and building team camaraderie and respect. High-fives, offering encouraging shout-outs and extending a helping hand to someone who falls are as important as learning passing, blocking and lateral moves.

Pass hopes the resurgence of roller skating as a hobby during the COVID-19 shutdown will steer more people to try roller derby. Pass stressed the team is in a rebuilding phase and it is a perfect time for anyone who may have been intimidated because they don’t feel like they are good enough to take a chance. The focus is on teaching people how to skate and then roller derby.

KDDB began in 2010 with the mission to actively provide and sustain an environment in which courage, respect, strength and sportsmanship are fostered through the sport of roller derby. The group strives to empower women by challenging them both on and off the track; to establish and maintain roots within the Outer Banks community; and to create a physically demanding sport that inspires us to embrace our inner strength while entertaining our fans.

The team practices from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the roller rink in Aviation Park located at 103 Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills.

Pass welcomes community members, of all ages and sizes to bring their skates and join a practice or stop by the rink and cheer the derby ladies on. The minimum equipment recommended is a helmet, knee pads, mouth guard, wrist guards, elbow pads and roller skates.

One of Pass’s goals is drawing more people, especially girls to the rink. For Pass, one big reward is for a girl to ask for an autograph after a game. “It is the most heartwarming thing in the entire world to know I sparked something in a kid and know they may try the sport,” said Pass.