By Rena Patel
The Claremont Colleges roller derby team, The Scaremont Illuminaughty Hotties, hosted the first ever intercollegiate roller derby bout at the 5Cs on March 3 against Arizona State University’s Derby Devils. The Scaremont Illuminaughty Hotties emerged victorious with a final score of 233 to 111. The bout was relocated to Linde Activities Center at Harvey Mudd College due to rain.
The team is the first ever roller derby team in the Claremont Colleges and the only collegiate roller derby team on the West coast. The team is “gender-inclusive and open to all skill levels” according to its Facebook page. This year’s team consisted of players from all of the 5Cs excluding Claremont McKenna College.
There are typically three practices a week: two with their coach, Alice Garcia, and one practice and weight lifting session led by the team’s captains, team member Jodie Horowitz (SCR ‘19) told the Voice.
While the team had previously participated in a few local bouts, it is the only collegiate roller derby team on the West coast, which makes it difficult to find other university teams to play. Playing against ASU was a monumental leap in collegiate roller derby history, as it was also the first intercollegiate bout on the West coast.
While many few universities across the United States have derby teams, the sport is quickly gaining traction. Team member Alyssa Rowshan (SCR ‘21) described the team community as incredibly infectious and engaging.
“One of the first clubs I signed up for was roller derby and it’s honestly because of the people. It’s a really strong and supportive group of people. It’s a really close knit community and it’s really cool to be part of such an empowering athletic group of people,” Rowshan said.
On the bout against ASU, team members Devon Frost (SCR ‘20) and Alyssa Rowshan (SCR ‘21) both said that the weeks leading up to the bout were exciting but scary as they had never gone against ASU and had no idea what the other team’s skill level would be like.
“Some days I’d be so scared and other days I’d be like ‘Let’s go!’” Rowshan said. “Our practices definitely reflected that. They got much more intense the closer we got to the bout.”
From the final score, it seems like the 5C derby team did not need to worry much about the outcome of the bout.
Roller derby coach Alice Garcia told the Voice, “I’m very proud of my girls. A lot of the girls just started about six months ago and I was very impressed to see the amount of effort they’ve put in in such a short time.”
As for the future of roller derby at the Claremont Colleges, Garcia hopes to interact more with the local leagues since there aren’t too many college teams in the area.
Interest in derby in the 5C community has only seemed to grow more since the bout. Rowshan credits the growing interest in derby to the community the sport nurtures. “It definitely serves as a space for marginalized genders. Roller derby, in the grand scheme of contact sports, it’s the only one that definitely isn’t dominated by men and it’s definitely providing that kind of space at the Claremont Colleges,” Rowshan said.
Photo Credits to 5C Roller Derby Facebook