On Tuesday, August 2, a press conference with members of the Lansing Derby Vixens was held at the business college on MSU’s campus. Members of the derby spoke to high school journalism students at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (M.I.P.A.) summer workshop.
“Every time I put on my skates, I’m like ‘Holy crap I can’t believe I get to do this!’” said Kristen Pfaendtner—known in the derby as Lil’ Miss Cheeky.
It is evident that the women have a lot of fun with their sport; however, they also have a positive influence in their community.
“We’re all volunteers,” explained Regina Calcagno, or Lil’Hitaly, “We’ve been able to donate literally thousands of dollars to local charities.”
But the Lansing Vixens give more than money—they give their time.
“We’re pretty accessible to our fans,” said Regina Calcagno, “We always work with the younger kids. They’re considered our VIPs.” By Christina Leninger / Opinion Writing
Four members of the Lansing Vixen roller derby team spoke about everything from memorable moments to training techniques at a press conference at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) Summer Journalism Workshop on August 2.
Mostly, these fierce females discussed injuries, a common aspect of roller derby that players have simply accepted. However, the Lansing Vixens still take every precaution possible to avoid serious injuries.
“We work hard on learning different falling techniques,” jammer Kim Layman (UR His Tori) said. “We do our best to learn how to fall without getting injured.”
Despite all of the precautions, it is impossible to avoid injury altogether during roller derby games, and the Lansing Vixens have had their share of accidents.
“Knee injuries are the most common injuries, which is what happened to me,” back blocker Julie Yingling (Ludacrush) said. “But we’ve also had broken bones.”
Though the team has suffered broken collarbones and broken elbows, they’re not always on the receiving end of injuries. Yingling is known throughout the roller derby world for her strong hits and admits that she’s sent more than a few players to the hospital.
“I’ve separated a girl’s shoulder before, and tore a girl’s hamstring,” Yingling said. “I’m not an aggressive player, but I guess I hit harder then I think I do. I have a lot of hits where girls go down and just don’t get back up.” By Melanie Sweet / Opinion Writing