West Kentucky Rockin' Rollers to hold New Skater Boot Camp

The West Kentucky Rockin' Rollers will host a New Skater Boot Camp for anyone interested in joining the roller derby scene. The Boot Camp will be held at Kingsway Skateland, with the first class scheduled for Thursday.

Photo courtesy of the Rockin' Rollers

The West Kentucky Rockin' Rollers will hold a January boot camp for those interested in joining the roller derby scene.

"It's amazing to see a new skater conquer a skill they said they could never do or building the confidence in a shy junior skater," said Lille Kirkpatrick, a member of Paducah's Rockin' Rollers.

The New Skater Boot Camp will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday, as well as Jan. 16, 23 and 30 at Kingsway Skateland at 3430 Wayne Sullivan Drive.

This year, the Rockin' Rollers are celebrating their 10-year anniversary.

When the team started, it had just six members but has seen a steady increase over the years as people have realized there is a derby team in Paducah.

Last year, the Rockin' Rollers decided to go coed or open gender so anyone interested could participate. Currently the adult league for ages 18 and up has roughly 30 members, with six of those being male, while the junior league for ages 9-17 has 15 members with about half being male.

The group welcomes young and old, as members of the adult team range in age from 18 to 50. Roller derby is a sport for everyone of all body types, as there is a position for everyone as a jammer, blocker or a pivot, organizers say.

Roller derby was very popular in the 1960s and '70s, with a resurgence in the sport starting in the 2000s.

"I think it had a lot to do with the movie 'Whip' that Drew Barrymore directed in 2009," Kirkpatrick said. "It's what got me started in the sport. Plus, derby is an amazing stress reliever and you meet people that become family."

Kirkpatrick added, "People who never saw themselves as athletes strap on a pair of skates and discover that they are capable of so much more than they know."

The cost of the Boot Camp is $35 and covers practice, coaching and a shirt when you complete the four-week camp. The Rockin' Rollers will provide all safety gear and skates for camp attendees to use, until they know if derby is a good fit for them. Boot Camp participants should bring a mouth guard.

For more information on the Rockin' Rollers and reserve a spot for the Boot Camp, visit www.facebook.com/pg/westkentuckyrockinrollers.

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