SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Salt City Roller Derby team welcomes all kinds of people.
“In derby it’s just like we’re from all walks of life, all different people, all different genders, all different histories and back stories and everyone just wants you to improve and for you to succeed,” said Monica Hastedt, better known by her derby name, Luna Sea.
The sport provides more than just a hobby for the skaters.
Community, support, friendship, fun, and joy are the words that Ari Tausig-Edwards, known as Jumper Bones, used to describe what roller derby means to them.
“I mean the exercise is fantastic, the endorphins are very good but I would say just for the community,” Tausig-Edwards said.
The roller derby community provides a safe space for queer people.
“It’s really nice to be in a room where you don’t have to onboard someone about queerness, about feminism, about the life and goings on things. It’s nice to be able to show up to one space in my life as a fully genuine person,” Tausig-Edwards said.
Derby allows anyone to join whether they’re a veteran skater or new to skating. Teddy Allor started going to practice just this month and can already feel the sense of family.
“The other thing I love is that it’s a lot of trans and queer people who are building the community here, so it just feels like being around your people a little bit and everyone is just on the same page,” Allor said.
For some athletes in sports, the best part is growing as leaders and meeting new people, but Tausig-Edwards said for them it’s something else.
“I think the best part has been having a space to, over the years, explore and grow into my most genuine self without judgement,” Tausig-Edwards said.
Due to COVID-19, the Salt City Roller Derby team is waiting for other leagues in the area to start up again before playing. For more information on the team you can visit www.saltcityrollerderby.com.