After two years away due to pandemic restrictions, Assassination City Roller Derby is once again taking Thunderbird Roller Rink by storm. The all-female league returned in April after a two-year hiatus. Now they are gearing up for their third bout later this month.
Longtime league member Corky Cronin says coming back after the long break was challenging at first. Before the shutdown, there were probably 75 to 80 league members. The traveling team was on the verge of cracking the top 75 in the national rankings. Then everything stopped.
When the team was finally able to return this year, there were initially only around 35 participants. Many women had either moved or moved on from the sport. Since then, the league has steadily grown back to near its pre-covid size thanks in large part due to renewed recruiting efforts. Last Sunday, Assassination City hosted a welcome event for new members.
“I would say most people, once they get a few practices under their belt, pretty much fall in love with it,” Cronin says.
These days she is the oldest skater in the league. While most skaters are in their 20s or 30s, Cronin has children that age. She’s been an athlete her entire life and considers roller derby the hardest sport due to its complex skills and strategies. It may take a bit of practice at first, but she’s found that most people really enjoy the challenge.
“What I enjoy most is empowering women,” she says. “It’s all about using the body that you have to the best of your ability. It’s a sport where women of all shapes can be stars.”