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Lansing Roller Derby's first bout against another team since the start of the pandemic

Posted at 5:04 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 17:04:45-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing Roller Derby team is having its first bout against another team since the pandemic on Saturday facing off against Grand Rapids.

Physicality and strategy are the keys to roller derby. Some even call it chess on wheels.

"This is my life, so it's all consuming," Lansing Roller Derby President Ali Jahr said.

"I really like how much of your brain you have to be using. You have to be fully aware of your own body and everyone else's body," Payton McComsey said.

"I didn't think I was going to do this, I had just gotten into roller skating, and I was like I'll try it out. Then they start teaching you contact, and it gets a little addicting," Sarah Reimann said.

The club launched this year after two Lansing-area roller derby clubs merged.

"I always wanted to be a woman playing hockey and football, and it's just more difficult as a woman to play those sports historically and still is. Roller derby is really a female-dominated sport, and I get to play at that intense level," Jahr said.

There is a sense of community within the team, what they call a safe space.

"It's really awesome to come together, and to have a bunch of different people who come from different walks of life come together. I have some of my best friends on this team," McComsey said.

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