Roller derby skaters compete for cause


HYDE PARK – Members of the Hudson Valley Horrors Roller Derby skated for a cause Sunday night at Hyde Park Roller Magic.

Skaters from Apocolips squared off against the Draculadies in the last game of the season.  The match was also a clothing drive for “Hope On A Mission” (HOAM), a Poughkeepsie-based organization that helps homeless, drug-addicted women on the streets of Poughkeepsie.

Megan Thiel, a blocker for Draculadies said, “The Horrors are always looking for local charities to help out,” as the reason the group collected a substantial amount of clothing for HOAM.  “We think giving back is great for the community,” said Thiel who goes by the derby monicker of Rushin Rollette.  HOAM provides meals, clothing, and other assistance to women in need and Thiel and her teammates were happy to be able to help out.

“Rushin Rollette” in the penalty box

The roller derby matches are broken down into two 30-minute periods.  Each period has multiple “jams,” which last a maximum of two minutes.  The teams consist of five ladies – three blockers, one pivot, and one jammer.  Points are awarded each time a jammer laps a member of the opposite team.  Skaters from the other team attempt to prevent the opposing jammer from passing, while helping their own jammer score points.

The game is very physical and Thiel said she and her teammates were destined to be wearing new bumps and bruises on Monday.  EMTs are on standby at each of the games and were required to help one member of the Apololips, who suffered a minor head injury on Sunday night.  Even though the skaters wear protective helmets, kneepads, wrist guards, and mouthpieces, injuries can still occur.

Thiel said that in order to skate for the Horrors, women must be over the age of 18, and in good physical shape.  The Horrors also have a junior league team, known as the Frightmares.  Both boys and girls between the ages of nine and 17 are eligible to skate for the team.

On Sunday night, the Frightmares split into two groups and skated during halftime of the adult game.  The Apocolips and Draculadies combine and skate as the Horrors during away games.  This season, the Horrors skated in away games in Rome, NY, Worcester, MA, and Aberdeen, NJ.  The Horrors won all three of those games.  The Horrors call Roller Magic their home arena and interested competitors can find out more at

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