Dec. 7, 2014: This article was reposted with corrections. Kat Thompson began her roller derby career in a league called the Paper Valley Roller Girls with the name “Seana Connerie.”
Many people have little knowledge regarding roller derby other than the hit movie Whip It starring Ellen Page. Sitting down to talk with Kat Thompson ‘16, a Katie on the Minneapolis campus, revealed the many facets of being a roller girl.
Here are some Roller Derby basics:
1. The jammer earns points by passing the blockers.
2. The blockers try to keep the jammer of the opposing team from getting points.
3. Roller Derby is one of the only sports where offense and defense are played at the same time.
4. There are a heck of a lot more rules than you would think there are, especially if you’re going off knowledge from movies.
5. Try to fall on your padding.
As a blocker, Thompson explained how she began her roller derby career in the Wisconsin Derby league called the Paper Valley Roller Girls, skating for teams such as the All Stars, the Flying Squirrels, and the Jedi Mind Chicks with the name “Seana Connerie.”
After joining the team, Thompson realized that there were more advantages than deciding upon a humorous name when it came to belonging to a new community of roller girls.
Thompson said, “It was like a whole new family of completely supportive people.”
This supportive family continued when Thompson moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota and joined the Dagger Dolls to become “Kattoo.” Thompson explained how roller girls not only assist each other, but the surrounding community. The RollerGirls make substantial charity donations to assist local organizations.
In addition to supporting charities on a large scale with her team, Thompson runs a hat knitting charity for Minnesota Roller Girls to assist the Twin Cities homeless population.
“It is a way that I can contribute to my league and my community,” Thompson said.
As a roller girl interested in community service, Thompson is certain that becoming involved in service work through Minnesota RollerGirls has helped her with her current interest in the Nursing Program at St. Kate’s because it gave her new insight into understanding her patients.
When asked for advice regarding students interested in becoming a roller girl, Thompson ’16 said, “Be aware of what your body can do, but don’t be afraid to try something new.”
If you are interested in attending a future Minnesota RollerGirls bout, pre-sale tickets are sold for $13 at any Pizza Luce.