First Puertorican Roller Derby Team Rollin’ Towards Blood & Thunder

It was a sunny, typical caribbean afternoon when Team Puerto Rico held their tryouts at Ocean Park, Puerto Rico, earlier this year. Team PR, preparing and training for the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup, to be held in Dallas, Texas USA , this December 2014, was just taking its first steps (on skates!).

A little over a half dozen hopeful roller girls warmed up with various drills before playing for a position on the (more than 20-strong) Puerto Rican team. The organizers of the team and try-outs, coaches, and current players maintained a level of energy, discipline, and motivation for the fresh meat, while looking for the new members that would join to represent the Caribbean island at the World Cup.

The Puerto Rican derby girls played an exhibition bout, where they showed off their dedication and talent; and by the end of the afternoon, five new roller girls made it to the first-ever roller derby Team Puerto Rico.

In between the tryouts and the bout, the girls joined in a conversation about roller derby:

What is roller derby?

"Roller Derby is a sport for women who are daring", shares Mala Suerte, from Cabo Rojo, PR.

"It’s a release", says Mecha Corta, from Bayamón, PR, "It’s one of the few things in life that eats you up in a good way. If you really like it, it can take over your life. What you do is you wake up and skate… and you keep skating."

"It’s a sport about communication, a lot of strategy, a lot of physical and mental effort…", contributes Franka Tiradora.

"And you have your team rooting for you”, says Mala Suerte, "You don’t play to be a superstar. We all have to play as one, in order to represent. Individualism, is not what Derby is about." 

The roller derby girls of Team PR skate united. But, furthermore, how do the members of Team PR define themselves?

"You have to have heart, derby heart, and Puerto Rico heart", explains Loki Rhino.

"You have to be revolutionary", Mala Suerte elaborates, "You have to dare to do all that you believe you can do, because you’re going to end up doing it."

"We have to be brave", Mecha Corta adds, "because we are going to be playing along with teams from all over the world."

"But that’s what makes it interesting...", reveals R.Tijeras, from Mayagüez, PR, "..what makes it challenging, to move forward, to see that we can indeed do this."

What are the goals of Team PR for the world cup?

"I hope to surprise."

"We want to show that… even if we don’t win, we play hella good, and earn our spot on the map."

"We hope that going to the world cup changes the entire roller derby scene in Puerto Rico, which is not something that’s very officially known here much less taken seriously. We’re going to change that."

“We want to learn from the experience, then go back in 2016 and kick ass!”

The team’s enthusiasm is palpable, so what exactly does the tryout day mean for Team PR, as as a stepping stone for the country of Puerto Rico…?

"History!", Mecha Corta is quick to answer (and the rest of the team does not hesitate to agree), "We will always be the first Team Puerto Rico."

Congratulations to Team Puerto Rico, and wishing the Puerto Rican athletes much success at the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup 2014!

To follow the roller derby girls of Team Puerto Rico, please visit their page at: http://www.facebook.com/teampuertoricorollerderby/

by: Ruben Cintron
originally published in Spanish , at Diálogo Digital
http://dialogodigital.com/index.php/A-la-Copa-Mundial-primer-equipo-nacional-de-roller-derby.html


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