The Gainesville Roller Rebels are preparing to crush the North River Roller Renegades in the first match of the roller derby season this weekend.
The Gainesville Roller Rebels are Gainesville’s only roller derby league.
The team will take on the North River Roller Renegades at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Alachua County Fairgrounds.
Adrienne Fagan, the Gainesville Roller Rebels vice president, who competes under the name Rage-rienne, said the team has a lot of new talent this year.
“We are really looking forward to getting to see them develop and become leaders on the team,” said Fagan, a 27-year-old UF urban science and regional planning graduate student.
The Gainesville Roller Rebels is a nonprofit organization that earns its funds from derby matches, called bouts, and fundraising efforts. The team also strives to be proactive in the community.
Fagan said the Roller Rebels support and fund philanthropies that empower young women, including some that focus on helping victims of domestic violence.
Charities they sponsor include Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, Girls Place and Peaceful Paths.
Verity Salmon, who goes by AlakaSlam in the rink, will be competing Saturday.
The UF biology Ph.D. candidate said she’s typically busy and being a student can sometimes be isolating.
“The derby team is a nice group of proactive women,” Verity, 27, said. “Even with all of the craziness going on in their lives, they make time for roller derby.”
Fagan said roller derby is one of the most fun activities she has ever participated in, and it offers many opportunities for self-development.
“We are in charge of all of our marketing, advertising, finances, fundraising and everything that comes with running a business,” Fagan said, “so you can really end up learning a lot about yourself.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 3/18/2015 under the headline “The Rebels roll into their new season”]