KAPAA — The 10-year anniversary of the Garden Island Renegade Rollerz doesn’t actually come until October.
The local roller derby club, though, wanted to celebrate the milestone by playing against the team that they played in their first match a decade ago.
“Our first game was against the Maui Roller Girls, so we wanted our anniversary game to be against them,” said G.I. Renegade Rollerz member Anaik “Pussy GoScore” Martin. “They could only come in May, so that’s how it ended up being the ‘Unbirthday Bash.’”
Garden Island Renegade Rollerz hosted the Maui Roller Girls for a game Saturday at the hockey rink at the Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapaa.
Martin said GIRR was spawned from another club 10 years ago.
“I saw a sign, and it was with the original club — the Derby Divas — right before Garden Island Renegade Rollerz,” she said. “Kudos to those who brought it to the island first, and it’s been awesome since then. I’ve met the most wonderful women. Our sport promotes all types of women joining roller derby, any body type — small, big, large. The best thing about the sport is we’re all family and we support each other. It’s been the best 10 years.”
Maui defeated the Garden Island, 182-160.
“Having the win was awesome. We were really not expecting that at all,” said Maui Roller Girls player Nadine “Iron Nadin” Rasmussen. “We are a team of seven right now. Coming against this massive team that’s been training so hard, super stoked for their birthday and glad we could leave it all on the track.”
A couple of GIRR’s players, Martin and Tammy “Tamminator” Fernandez, have been with the Kauai club since its inception in October of 2009.
“My daughter (Kiana “Kianarchy” Martin) is over there. For me, it’s about being a good example,” Martin said. “I’m so happy we’ve been able to grow our team and keep the sport strong on a small island where it’s hard to recruit people and keep any sport, I feel, especially for adults.”
Fernandez said of celebrating 10 years with GIRR: “It’s a lot of work and dedication, but it’s so much fun. I’ve met so many amazing women along the way. I’ve made some great friends. Gosh, I don’t know what to say. It’s just such an amazing sport. You have to give your whole heart and mind, and lots of training.”
About 200 spectators attended Saturday’s roller derby match in Kapaa.
“Actually, a lot of people still don’t know about roller derby. It’s funny. Even close friends, I’m like, ‘Come watch.’ And they’re like, ‘What?’” Fernandez said. “We promote it pretty well for such a small island.”
Rasmussen added that Saturday’s game was GIRR’s first in an international roller derby organization.
“It’s awesome. Total chicken skin. They are like our sister-team, and love them more than any other team around the islands,” Rasmussen said. “This is one of the games that helps them become a WFTDA member — Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. After this game, they’ll now be ranked in the system with hundreds of other teams across the US.
“Now, any team from anywhere in the world can play them and get credit points and work toward their ranking. This is a huge step for GIRR, to be in that association, which is awesome.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.