WACO, Texas — A new sport is rolling in to Central Texas.
Roller Derby has officially arrived in Waco with the Waco Roller Derby league playing their first competitive game today at Skate Waco in Bellmead.
"We're trying to bring more sporting events to Waco and this facility does roller hockey, speed skating, roller derby," team founder and player Gypsy Lucas said. "We're just trying to get that atmosphere and use the facility for something more than roller skating so we can do sports for all ages."
It's not just skating that the team and facility has to offer. The skating community in Waco is among the most accepting and inclusive groups in Central Texas, offering a safe space for men, women, the LGBTQ+ community and others looking for a safe space.
Lucas says skating is something that nobody can be upset doing, so getting everyone in on the fun is instrumental to what she and the team do.
"We have transgender, we have LGBTQ. We have, you know, men, women, everybody who wants to play. It's a very welcoming atmosphere."
The team also has a wide age range of players. One of their most notable pieces of the team being 16-year-old Jayda "Lucky Charmz" Parker, who's been skating for almost as long as she's been alive.
She says the team welcomes everyone and being apart of it is special for her because it allows her to use her athletic talents to the fullest.
"I just joined Derby in August. You don't get singled out at all here. Everyone loves everybody. There's absolutely no hate at all."
The team is also donating proceeds to the Waco Goodfellas, a non-profit organization that supports families in need. They're Christmas in July event coming up and Lucas says the team is just happy to help.
"We're also here for charity. So we work with Goodfellas and they're a charitable organization," Lucas said. "We send a charitable donation to them and they helped build housing for families in need in the Waco area. They're also doing their July Christmas event."
Almost unexpectedly, skating is bringing together all kinds of people from all walks of life in Central Texas. The Roller Derby team is hopeful that more people come out and show support and embrace the fun that is roller skating.
"I always find with roller skating, you never go roller skating without a smile on your face," Lucas said. "So I enjoy it and I enjoy teaching people and sharing that once you're a skater you're always going to be a skater."
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