By Wendy Holdren
The Beckley Area Derby Dames visited Raleigh County 4-H campers last week to give them an up close and personal look at roller derby.
Susan Richmond, program assistant for WVU Extension Services, said she had gone to high school with one of the Dames, Bodacious Baxter, and the two coordinated the event.
“The kids are almost as excited as the counselors,” Richmond joked.
She said Theatre West Virginia and representatives from the National Park Service sometimes stop by to visit the campers, but having the Dames there was something new and different.
One of the Derby Dames, Cup O. Tea, said she used to go to 4-H camp every year when she was a kid.
“Camp was a big part of summer. I went every year until I was 15, but I didn’t get to see anything like this.”
She said she hoped the Dames would leave a positive impression on the campers.
BADD split into two teams, black and purple, and demonstrated how the game is played.
Rick Sado, a roller derby announcer from Char-leston, was also on hand to explain the rules of the game to the campers.
He explained what positions there are in derby, how points are scored and how the girls are allowed to hit one another.
After two 15-minute halves, the purple team came out on top, with a score of 103 to 70.
The campers all cheer-ed for their favorite team and gave all the Dames a high five as they skated around for a victory lap.
The derby players usually pick MVPs for the opposing team, but the campers were given the honor of handing out the awards Tuesday.
They chose Cupcake Cadaver and Cup O. Tea as the 4-H Derby Demo MVPs.
Braydon Harper, 10, was absolutely ecstatic after seeing the Dames in action. “How they bump into each other, it’s just awesome!”
He said Cupcake was his favorite player and he can’t wait to see them play again.
“It’s great that I can be such an influence and hopefully a good role model,” Cupcake said. “Roller derby promotes teamwork, sportsmanship and general camaraderie.”
The next home bout, Country Roads Corruption, is Saturday, June 29, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the bout starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.beckleyareaderbydames.com.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org