The ICT Roller Girls are bouting at a new venue for the Chasing Our Tails: ICT Roller Girls versus CoMo Derby Dames doubleheader. Both teams, including the visitors from Columbia, Mo., will lace up their skates at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Wichita Ice Center.
Members of the local roller derby team, ICT Roller Girls, contacted General Manager Brian Wells about using the ice center as a venue for their upcoming bouts.
“The girls came over and approached me about using one side of the rink,” Wells said. “We have the ice out for the summer to do maintenance.”
The new venue will provide several opportunities for the ICT Roller Girls.
“We are usually in a roller rink, which is a lot smaller,” said Mallory Rine, also known as skater Foxy Mauler. She is co-leader of the team’s marketing committee.
The skaters and Wells look to draw in a much larger crowd because of the increased seating.
“They think they can bring in 1,000 to 1,500 people,” Wells said. “They’ve already sold over 500 tickets as of earlier this week, and they said the majority is usually a walk-up crowd.”
The new location offers more space for first-time derby-goers to experience the action. And that is just what they can expect.
“It’s a family atmosphere with a lot of fast-paced, hard-hitting action,” Rine said. “We have DJs and lots of noisemakers. We are known for our cowbells.”
Roller derby skaters live for the bouts, but they put in plenty of time, sweat and money in between.
“We practice four days a week,” Rine said. “During the week, it’s two hours, and on Sundays, it’s three.”
The hours of practicing and bouting result in inevitable battle scars. “It’s a full-contact sport, so we get bruised, sore muscles, twisted knees and broken tailbones,” Rine said.
Even with all the pain, most skaters welcome the demand roller derby requires of their bodies.
“For a lot of girls, they wear their bruises like trophies,” Rine said. “It proves that they’re tough, and it’s not just for show.”
It is all the big hits and tumbles that keep fans coming back for more, including Wells.
“I’m a really big roller derby fan,” Wells said. “It used to be on TV a lot, and it was an event whenever it came on.”
Roller derby may have taken a dip, but since ICT Roller Girls started in 2006, the number of skaters has more than doubled. They even became the only roller derby team in the state to be accepted into the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
Their success did not come without cost. Skaters pay to play in roller derby, from monthly dues that cover rink rentals to yearly fees that include WFTDA insurance.
“We do a lot of fundraising,” Rine said.
The next fundraising event for the ICT Roller Girls is a silent art auction Sept. 10 at the Alibi Room.
Skaters for ICT Roller Girls are all dedicated to helping the community, so despite their many expenses, they are donating a portion of the proceeds from Saturday’s doubleheader to the Kansas Humane Society.
“Every bout, we like to give proceeds to a community organization or charity,” Rine said. “We are all animal-lovers, and it’s a cause we’d like to support. Plus, we have several veterinarians on our team.”
The group of skaters who make up the ICT Roller Girls do not all fit into one demographic.
“We have women in their 40s and 50s skating,” Rine said. “We’re a very open and accepting group. We like to empower our skaters.”
If you go
CHASING OUR TAILS: ICT ROLLER GIRLS VERSUS COMO DERBY DAMES
When: Doors open at 6 p.m., first bout starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Wichita Ice Center, 505 W. Maple
How much: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, kids 11 and under free. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Kansas Humane Society.
Tickets and info: Advance tickets at BrownPaperTicket.com, information at ICTRollerGirls.com
What to bring: Cowbells and noisemakers