Roller derby boot camp draws crowd at roller rink

Skaters jostle for position during a roller derby bout at Sunday’s Beat Me Halfway Roller Derby Boot Camp at Sk8 Zone.

Skaters jostle for position during a roller derby bout at Sunday’s Beat Me Halfway Roller Derby Boot Camp at Sk8 Zone. Photo by Gerry Tritz.

It’s a sport that leaves you with bumps, bruises and virtually no potential to make a living.

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Wealth? Fame? Not a chance. It’s all about the game and the extended family, not nine-figure contracts.

Welcome to roller derby, where it’s physically demanding, but your body size isn’t important. Endurance and stamina are, however, as offense and defense are played simultaneously. You also need a “derby name,” preferably one that borders between intimidating and comical.

Coach Spanks Givings, (real name: Shane Darby) is a Columbia resident who helped organize Sunday’s second annual Beat Me Halfway Roller Derby Boot Camp. It was held at Jefferson City’s Sk8 Zone roller rink.

“I’ve seen girls 280 pounds who are as agile out here as a pro hockey player,” Darby said. “I’ve also seen girls 90 pounds soaking wet who are great.”

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