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Rollergirls Rumble into Fitton

Hamilton (OH) – Forget the nursery rhymes.

In the physical, frenetic world of modern women’s roller derby - with roots in the skating marathon craze of the 1930s and no less a luminary than Damon Runyon partially credited with its creation – don’t look too hard for sugar and spice and everything nice.

Wheels and pads and everything bad might be more accurate.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts shines a light on roller derby Wednesday, April 3, when the Cincinnati Rollergirls skate into Hamilton for an appearance at the final Celebrating Self luncheon of the 2023-2024 season.

In fact, guests can see some live skating during the event. The Carruthers Signature Ballroom will be set with a dance floor in the center of the room surrounded by tables.

Callie Wright – who skates under the name Ursa Maimer – selected a derby persona that both reflects the inherent violence of the sport and a personal love for science fiction.

“I am a giant Star Trek fan,” the Fairfield native said. “I was desperately trying to find something Trek related and was coming up blank. But Ursa Maimer, that’s a play on the constellation Ursa Major. It means big bear in Latin.”

Other Cincinnati Rollergirls’ nom de guerre include Bomb Betty, Chili Con Carnage, Gore-Gon, Killary Clinton and Star Flatten’Em.

“A lot of the names are very aggressive,” Wright said. “That’s definitely part of the fun.”

Wright joined the Rollergirls in 2018.

“I started going to the gym to get in shape,” they said. “But I realized if I wanted to stay in shape, I’d probably need to find a sport to play. Two separate people told me I should try roller derby, so I gave it a shot and fell in love with it right away.

“I’m a bit a of thrill seeker, but I’m not the person who’s going to be free-climbing a mountain. This a was a great fit for me. It’s actually a cerebral game despite the violence. You have to think quickly to survive that level of chaos. Learning how to master all the physicality and still keep your head for the strategy part, that’s one of the things I really like about it.”

Another is the bond among skaters.

“We have this weird, bonkers thing that we do together,” they said. “While a jam is on, people are just demolishing one another and are all up in each other’s faces. But the minute it’s over, we’re all like ‘That was awesome. I can’t believe that hit. It was amazing.’ We’re all great competitors, but we’re also a great community.”

Tickets for the Cincinnati Rollergirls appearance at the Fitton Center are $21 for members, $27 for non members, and are available online right here, by phone at 513-863-8873, ext. 110 or in person at the Fitton Center Box Office.

The Rollergirls host their 2024 home opener Saturday, April 13, against Vette City at the Queen City Sportsplex (10765 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241). Tickets are $7 for children ages 3-13 and $15 for adults.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

(Photos courtesy Jeff Sevier/Cincinnati Rollergirls)


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