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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 2 months ago

Beachside Brawlers ensure roller derby is alive and well

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The Beachside Brawlers play all of their home games at Ormond Beach's Skate and Shake skating center.
by: Tim Briggs Staff Writer

Founded in 2010, the Beachside Brawlers are just getting started.

As the sport of roller derby continues to grow, derby girls all over Florida have been able to show off their skills and play the game they love.

“We have such our own language in derby, so it gets a little hard when you’re first starting out,” said Chelsea Peterson, a member of Palm Coast Roller Derby’s Beachside Brawlers. “It’s the fastest-growing women’s sport in the world and had a huge revival in the 70’s, so we’re just trying to keep that going.”

According to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, Peterson’s claim is true.

Peterson has been playing since 2012, and has completely immersed herself in the world of roller derby. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she’s on a talented team who has taught her everything she needs to know.

“When you have girls you look up to and admire, you get out of your comfort zone and it’s fun,” Peterson said.

Roller derby is played with ten players on the rink, with each team having four blockers and one jammer. The jammer’s job is to evade the opposing team’s blockers and out-skate the opposing team’s jammer.

The objective is to rack up points by continuing to circle the rink in a counterclockwise fashion. 

Peterson describes it about as well as anyone could.

“Basically, roller derby is two people having a race while eight other people are fighting about it."

- Chelsea Peterson a.k.a. V for Vanilla, Beachside Brawlers

Peterson said.

Peterson goes by another name when she’s battering other women on the rink. Her pseudonym is V for Vanilla, with her number being 11/5.

Since her birth date is November 5, it goes along with the V for Vendetta storyline.

Everyone on the team gets their own nickname, and the head coach's name is Dirty Hippy, while other notable names are Holy Scrap and Chasey Anthony.

It’s a sport all its own, and it’s that uniqueness which calls out to players and makes it worthwhile.

"I love it because everyone is so open," said head coach Shawn Loyce a.k.a. Dirty Hippy. "There are so many personalities, and no one is shunned away. Any kind of alternative lifestyle is accepted and we don't judge anybody."

Palm Coast Roller Derby play all of their home games at the Skate and Shake in Ormond Beach. As an independent league, they are not required to play with the rules sanctioned by the WFTDA, but they do anyway.

They’re not officially professionals, but the Beachside Brawlers are skilled, and above all else, love what they do.

“I’m a huge procrastinator, so it’s hard for me to get things done or have enthusiasm for things, but roller derby is different,” Peterson said. “It’s our own little band of misfits, so we all fit in.”

To check out more about the Beachside Brawlers, go to Facebook.com/pcrderby.

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