AUSTIN, Texas — The athletes that participate in Texas Roller Derby are used to getting hit, but the hit they’ve been trying to recover from is less physical and more mental, emotional and financial.
"We have all lost our biggest stress relief in derby. I miss it," said Jenna Johnson, who skates for the Cherry Bombs. "There’s no real outlet like it. You find hobbies and whatnot, but it’s just not the same."
The last TXRD bout was in February of 2020 between the Holy Rollers and the Cherry Bombs.
"We are our product. The skaters are the product. Our sport is the product. And so, as a small business, not having games has been a challenge," said Laura Roy of the Holy Rollers.
TXRD was featured in the Netflix Docuseries “Home Game,” an opportunity that would normally garner immediate attention, but it was released in the summer of 2020, a time that the group was unable to take advantage of because they’d cancelled all their bouts.
Like many other businesses and organizations, TXRD has pivoted to creating more of an online presence, starting a GoFundMe and a Patreon.
"We keep Austin weird, and without these institutions like Texas Roller Derby, Austin wouldn’t be what it is," said Roy.
The skaters hope for old and new fans to be in the stands supporting them, when they do feel it is safe enough to return to their sport.
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