Tackling the NCK Taboo

[imgbelt img=taboo.jpg]What do you do with an old gym or parking lot? Easy, say the North Central Kansas Taboo skaters. You turn it into a roller derby track.


Read about them in the Ellicottville News.

Social Network

Although Boyer learned about roller derby on the internet social networking site Facebook, it was the lure of physical activity in a different social setting that pushed her onto the roller derby track.

“I wanted a reason to go out and be active,” says Boyer.  “Roller derby is a huge social environment. I could go out and jog, but it wouldn’t be as interactive and entertaining as a team sport.”

Boyer said her husband, Ryan, told her to “go for it,” and even her two children, ages two and five, are interested in skating now that their mom has picked up the sport.  The Boyers operate Wicked by Design, a racing graphic design company, and also race cruiser cars.

“Roller derby in general has a strong emphasis that family and work come first,” Boyer says.  “When we had our first meeting, Angie told us if there was a conflict with practice and family and work, we have to take practice,” she said. Team members pay $45 for insurance on themselves, and also have a liability policy that protects the venue wherever they skate, she says.

“We’d like to practice other places, maybe move it around,” she says.  “We just haven’t found a lot of other places willing to let us use their facilities.”

Before teams are allowed to participate in actual bouts, team members are tested and must meet minimum skill requirements and prove their knowledge of the rules.

Rollers With A Mission

One aspect of the new roller derby that might look familiar to spectators is team members’ penchant for choosing alter egos and outfits that reflect the attitude of their teams.  Boyer’s skate name, for instance, is “Bruisin’ Banshee.” On the track, Kjelberg is known as “AntagonizHer.”

The point, they say, is to empower women through exercise and hard work.  As well as promoting roller derby, the NCK Taboo team also works to raise awareness of the serious subject of child sex-abuse, Kjelberg says.

“That subject is so Taboo that people don’t want to talk about it and instead sweep it under the rug,” Kjelberg says.  “I want to make kids, teens and adults aware that it is okay to ‘Just Tell’ when it comes to sexual abuse.”

Boyer says she quickly became addicted to the sport. And she wants other women to know that it’s okay to take a risk on the unknown — whether it’s something unexpected like roller derby or other new interests.

“If you want to do something you think you would enjoy, just do it,” she says.  “Find some other people who enjoy the same thing, and just do it.”

Deb Hadachek is the editor of the Belleville, Telescope of Belleville, Kansas, where this article first appeared. Check out the Telescope here.