It is an exciting time for roller derby in Cincinnati, Quad Almighty coach of the Cincinnati Rollergirls is assembling a Mens roller derby league in Cincinnati, and now CRG has taken its first step into establishing a junior roller derby league.
Kathy Kissing, a retired Cincinnati Rollergirl who skated with the league from it’s beginning in 2006 until 2009 is leading a junior roller derby camp where 37 young women have signed up aging in rages from 8-17. Kathy holds ten national speed skating titles, dating back to 1971. Kathy’s daughters are following in mom’s footsteps as they are enrolled in the camp.
The Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA) is a public non-profit educational and amateur sports organization that is dedicated to advancing the growth of roller derby through the standardization of rules and goals for existing and new leagues.
JRDA is here to promote the empowerment of young athletes to be the best they can both on and off the track. Each practice is designed to help you learn new skills, perfect your techniques, learn strategy and increase your endurance.
You may be thinking the same thing that I was originally; what if any difference is there is junior derby and adult derby?
“The difference between junior and adult derby is that it’s developmental. Young girls have different levels of skills. There are skill levels for training that are encouraged by JRDA (Junior Roller Derby Association). This camp is stressing Skill Level One which consists of basic skating skills, crossovers and fall drills. We want the girls to learn how to fall and use their gear (pads). In scrimmage we only do positional blocking, Kathy says.
The Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls league is slated to officially form this fall, and this camp is being used to introduce young ladies to the sport and also for recruitment. Camp began this past Tuesday July, 12 and runs to July 15.
“The camp is four days long. All the volunteers helping the girls are former or current Rollergirls and a hall of fame speed skater. The most fun drill we’ve done is “Stop Drop and Roll” on skates. We are running scrimmages with two age groups 8-12 and 13-17 on the regulation track with the star helmet cover for the jammers, so realistic that we even have a CRG volunteer ref who has already placed a young skater in the penalty box” Kathy says.
There are approximatley 70 junior leagues in the United States, with one official JRDA member league in Cleveland, the Cleveland Firestarters.
Good luck to Kathy and the young ladies at derby camp, the future of the sport is looking bright and exciting.
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