MARION — Women interested in joining Southern Illinois Roller Girls are invited to attend a recruitment camp and informational meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Williamson County Pavilion in Marion.
SIRG is a league open only to women. Participants must be at least 21 years old. Those attending the recruitment camp should bring a photo ID and come dressed to sweat.
No experience is required, and it is free to attend. Loaner skates and padding are available in limited quantities and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
When you think of Roller Derby, chances are you think of big, tough, angry women throwing elbows and fists and, occasionally, one another over a railing. The women of SIRG want to change that stereotype. These women who come from communities throughout the Southern Illinois region are fueled not only by a passion for roller derby, but by the desire to give back to their communities.
Even though the season opener isn’t until April 17, this league already has started selecting candidates for fundraising efforts. Each of the home bouts, or games, will feature a different charity, and a portion of the proceeds from the bouts will go to the cause.
SIRG’s first public scrimmage was Dec. 10. The cause of choice was the Southern Illinois AIDS holiday project, an organization which assists families affected by AIDS with the typical expenses of Christmas as well as general expenses such as gas, food and medicines.
“After participating in the AIDS walk, I felt like we could do more for this great cause, and what better way than through
a pretty good-sized donation,” said
Amanda “Arcane Sugar” Wedekemper of Carbondale.
Jamie Robinson of Harrisburg echoed Wedekemper’s sentiments.
“I’m so proud of how well we did for this fundraiser,” Robinson said. The scrimmage and fundraiser netted a $600 donation for the AIDS holiday project.
Though the charity has not yet been selected, the next scrimmage has been scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Williamson County Pavilion.