The Pottstown Roller Derby is not only looking for new skaters — it needs them.
“We need people,” said Head Coach Tamrin “Splinch” Steinmetz. “And it’s great to be needed,” she added jokingly.
The Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars is a non-profit organization which has been serving the greater Pottstown area since 2010.
This Thursday, Feb. 4, individuals are invited to try out for the league to become a “Rockstar” or join the derby’s Fresh Meat Program. This invite is extended to women — and men — 18 years and older.
“The more the merrier,” said Splinch, “There’s no maximum.”
Thursday’s tryouts are a part of a needed process for the league and will take place in the form of a group assessment, rather than individual. No tryouts are required for the Fresh Meat Program, which exists to strengthen skills.
“We’re trying to assess skills to see if they can skip Fresh Meat,” said Splinch. “If they’re skating at a higher level, they will be assessed at a higher level.”
New this year — the Fresh Meat Program will entertain a rolling enrollment. People can join at any time in the season. The hope is to bump up their numbers.
“It’s not about the type of person – it’s about your drive,” she says. “You have to be self-motivated and a team player. Be open to the fact that there will be obstacles, and there will be people to help you overcome them.”
With ties to Pennsburg and Green Lane, Splinch says choosing a league is less about where you live and more about the type of league a person wants to be a part of. She describes the Pottstown Roller Derby as a smaller and less competitive league, compared to others in the region, allowing skaters to focus on more than just winning.
“It’s about strength — and not just physical. It challenges the mind, body, spirit. There are mental and physical barriers,” says Splinch. “It’s not a ‘recreational’ or ‘starter’ league — it’s a home, and we’re going to support you.”
She says it could take anyone from six months to five years to “believe in themselves” when it comes to roller derby. Skaters need to meet the skills requirements set by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. To bout (compete), Splinch says a skater should be able to skate 27 laps in five minutes.
What you need if you go: Knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a mouth guard and a helmet. There is limited gear available to borrow on a first come first serve basis. Skates can be rented out at the rink. You must bring your own mouth guard.
Deirdre “Bomb DiggaDee” Stanton-Kelly of Boyertown will be coaching the Fresh Meat Program as Splinch focuses on the league skaters.
In addition to skaters, the derby also needs referees and non-skating officials.
Thursday’s program will begin 7 p.m. at Pheasantland Roller Rink, 551 Manatawny Road in Boyertown. The skating season runs from February to October. Keep up-to-date with local derby news by following the Pottstown Roller Derby on Facebook. For more information, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org