NEENAH — The Fox Cities Roller Derby is back.
After not being able to play due to the COVID pandemic the last few years, the team has been practicing for a few months getting back into shape and they hope to return to actual competitions this upcoming winter.
On Saturday, they were hanging out at the Neenah Plaza skating with anyone who wanted to join them and their love for the sport.
“I love it so much,” said Emily Henrigellis of the Fox Cities Roller Derby. “The main purpose of this event today is for recruitment, for getting awareness back out for the sport and just to have fun out in the beautiful weather.”
From 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the team was showing off their sport to anyone who wanted to come watch.
“We want to make sure that there’s a future in our sport and our future comes from our kids,” said Kourtney Kositzke of the FRCD. “They’re going to grow up and hopefully, have a love and passion for it. Our league spans all ages. Once you hit 18 you can join our team. Got to spark the interest early.”
They also were giving hands-on experience to the youth who were brave enough to lace up skates, one young girl even challenged them to a race.
When people are excited about roller skating and roller derby, it’s exciting,” said Henrigellis. “All you can see skating with us are little girls. Which means we are helping little girls become strong women and then they are here for us later.”
As for what makes the sport so special besides the physicality of it is the camaraderie.
“You would die for these people,” Henrigellis said. “Every single day you go out and compete with them and you try to show up and beat other people and then afterwards you all get a beer. It’s just love.”
And if you’re nervous to try the sport, they say don’t be afraid to make the jump. You can join the team with no skating experience.
“Show up with a friend. Show up by yourself, I did. I had never skated before in my life. Just make the jump and you’re going to love it,” said Henrigellis.
The FRCD practices Tuesday, Thursday’s and Sundays, all you need is a mouthguard and a mask if they practice indoors. They provide the rest.
More information can be found at https://www.foxcitiesrollerderby.com/.