By Jordan Photography and Consulting
Following is a press release from EMRD, Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby, a non-profit organization which donates to local charities, a portion of the gate from each home bout. They are an amazing group of young women who work and play hard and then contribute to organizations which benefit greatly from their generosity. I’ve been their official photographer for many years and have missed the action for the last couple of COVID-interrupted seasons. Above is their team photo from this year which includes their new recruits for 2023.
The Hellbilly Heartbreakers are eager to bring roller derby back to the Olean area with their 2022-2023 season. While 2021-2022 was a bit of a rebuilding year with only an intraleague game scheduled in the area, the Hellbillies are excited to have a nearly full roster this season and are looking forward to scheduling multiple regular games with other leagues. The Hellbilly Heartbreakers are the top-level team of the Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby League (EMRD). Founded in 2010, the league has been in continuous operation besides the required shut down caused by the pandemic. Often compared to a combination of ice hockey and racing, roller derby is a full contact, competitive sport with a lot of big hits and fancy footwork. While the league has rebuilt a decent number of competitive skaters, they are still in need of skating and non-skating officials. EMRD maintains an open enrollment throughout the year. Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to stop into a practice or contact the league through the Heartbreaker line or Facebook. No skating skills are required to start as they will all be taught to any interested individual. Those who are interested in competing in games must pass a skills assessment and prove their understanding of the game before being rostered. The league is a non-profit organization that looks to help build the confidence and self-esteem of its members through competition and camaraderie. Practices are held three times a week (Sun 3-5pm, Tues & Thurs 7:30-9:30pm) at the school in Limestone, NY. The league is hoping to begin some closed scrimmages in January & February, followed by an away game in March & April, and finally a return to the William O. Smith Recreation Center in Olean, NY. The skaters are hoping to bring 1 home game each month from April-August for a total of 5 home games this season.
You will note that the skaters all adopt wild names, each trying to outdo the rest. This adds to the interest of the sport, in my opinion. All the photos provided are from previous seasons, unless noted. The past couple of seasons were cancelled due to COVID restrictions. Not all of the players seen in these photos are still current roster players.
Despite all the snarls and competitive dialogue, not to mention the hard hitting and bruising, the two teams get together for a combined team photo after each bout. The skaters are all smiles and supportive of each other. I do not think that one would expect to see this from male competitors. I can say this from experience, having played competitive ice hockey into my 50’s, many of those years being full checking hockey. In most cases, the teams had to be separated as we skated off the ice, perhaps restrained is a better verb. In this photo from 2019, a team (Two Rivers) from Pennsylvania and the Hellbilly Heartbreakers pose together for one such photo op.