Roller Derby: the starting whistle now sounds in Slidell | St. Tammany Community News

Northshore Roller Derby Lethal Ladies opened its 2022 season at a new venue and its audience has more than doubled. After starting 10 years ago in Mandeville, the team became homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic until they found space at the Harbor Center in Slidell.

The Lethal Ladies are an amateur sports team that competes on a flat track.

“Flat track roller derby is a global sport,” said Jeanne Woodrick of Covington. “Right now, we just keep growing.”

Their second home fight, “Prom Night: A Brawl to Remember” vs. Big Easy Roller Derby will take place from 7-10 p.m. on August 6 at Harbor Center, 100 Harbor Center Blvd.

In keeping with the theme of the prom night, the public is invited to bring gently used prom dresses to donate to help local youth during the upcoming school dance season.

“We are claims adjusters, nurses, insurance agents. We’re all real people, some with full-time jobs, some with kids, married, single — living our lives,” Woodrick said. “The addition of roller derby spice things up.”

Woodrick is a local realtor whose derby name is Offer Rocker. Her teammates include Rouxthless, Misfortune Cookie, Quiet Storm, Mermaid Mayhem, and Swamp Rash. Teams field five players on the track, with four blockers and one jammer.

“I’m a scrambler, I’m a pointer,” Woodrick said.

The Lethal Ladies train Monday and Thursday nights year-round, except Christmas and Thanksgiving, at Skater’s Paradise in Slidell. This is where potential members can put on skates and gear or just look to see if they have what it takes to join the team.

“It takes stamina, skill and foot work,” she said. “You can skate and you meet people. It is a very physical sport, full contact.

Woodrick has always enjoyed skating and went to training on a challenge. They traveled as far as Lake Charles and Pensacola, Florida. Five years later, she’s still learning and looking forward to playing with teams like Big Easy Roller Derby.

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“We’re a challenging brotherhood. It’s a stress reliever and we laugh a lot.”

As their numbers grow, Northshore Roller Derby is set to form a second team so they can compete against each other to advance their skills and training.

“The era of hair-pulling” has become a regulated sport, she said. “It’s an aggressive chaos. Essentially, it’s football on skates.

They weren’t the only derby to rush to venues during the pandemic. Some teams are now practicing in warehouses, while others have retreated.

But the Northshore Roller Derby season continues with home fights against the West Florida Roller Derby on August 27 and a Christmas Mashup on December 17; and away games with the West Florida Roller Derby on September 10 in Pensacola and against the Capital Defenders on October 1 in Baton Rouge.

“We are already booking the 2023 season,” she said.

For the next match, doors open at 6 p.m. and the fight begins at 7 p.m. General admission for ages 13 and up is $15 at the door and $10 in advance; $5 for ages 8 to 12 and free for ages 7 and under. Season tickets are $30.

The halftime show will be provided by local walking group Slidell Synch. The Harbor Center will offer beverage concessions, a bar and food such as hot dogs, burgers and jambalaya, pasta dishes and snacks. There are seats or the public can bring their own.

Northshore Roller Derby is a non-profit organization that uses its sport to support two local charities, the St. Tammany Humane Society and Safe Harbor. They will be taking donations for Safe Harbor during Saturday’s competition and collecting donations from the Safe Harbor Wish List.

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