Flint Roller Derby Readies for New Season, Fundraiser

If you build it (a great organization) they will come (to skate and bump).

On Sunday, Feb. 10, Flint Roller Derby held their winter non-skating tryout. Of the 27 attendees, 22 completed the course. Of those 22, 18 were invited to a boot camp on March 3 where the blades will roll.

“The tryout went great,” said Flint Roller Derby Head Coach Nicholas Cotton. “We were looking for people who will represent the Flint spirit in the manner in which our team currently does. The qualities for which we strive are the ability to take instruction, a strong work ethic, a good attitude and a no-quit manner. In addition, there are also intangible aspects that add that special something to the mix.”

The tryout was held at By Any Means CrossFit in Grand Blanc. Owner Jeff Kalo led the group through the workout. This was the first time Flint Roller Derby held a workout at the gym. Kalo was impressed.

“The tryout went amazing,” said Kalo. “We put the participants through a specific process to ascertain those qualities necessary for a team member.

“Individual fitness testing was the first assessment. We were looking for anaerobic capacity, strength and grit. The second phase was to observe how they worked together as a unit.”

One of those who made the effort was Anna Fochesato, an SVSU graduate from Clarkston. Fochesato heard about the tryout from a friend who was once part of the team.

“Roller derby looked a bit intimidating and there is a lot of hard work involved,” said Fochesato. “However, I like to be challenged. There is also the camaraderie aspect.

“Being a part of the team allows me to be involved in something that is greater than just an individual pursuit. The activity was demanding but, overall, was an enjoyable experience.”

Next in events for the team is its fourth Annual Bowling Fun-raising event on Saturday, Feb. 23 at B’s Bowling Center in Flint. The cost is $20 per individual (including 2 games plus shoes, one pizza with one pitcher of pop per lane). Bowling will comply to 9 Pin No Tap rules and feature a cosmic glow. Check-in will begin at 6:45 p.m. and the action will start at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased from Flint Roller Derby associates. The contact for the event is [email protected]. The proceeds raised will be applied to Flint Roller Derby’s 2019 season.

“This is our big fundraiser of the year/season kick-off party,” said Cotton. “We generally fill up the entire bowling alley. We will also have an assortment of silent auction baskets up for grabs. The contents are all gathered from local businesses who sponsor our team. The baskets in the past have featured many cool items. Even if you are not bowling, you can come bid on one of our baskets.”

The event’s registration form can be found on their Facebook event page. Interested participants can sing up with friends to fill an entire lane or go solo and be placed in one.

“This is the event that helps fund our travel this season,” said Cotton. “We are going further than ever this year since we are beginning our first year competing in the WFTDA, the international governing body of the sport.”