Sirens celebrate fifth season of family friendly bouts and community involvement
The Soul City Sirens, Augusta’s only female roller derby team, will kick-off its fifth season this Sunday, February 24, at Red Wing Rollerway. Jessica Thompson Christian founded the Sirens in 2008, and since then the team has grown into a fully operational nonprofit organization that has had hundreds of members over the last five years that have traveled the entire southeastern region representing Augusta.
“We’ve become a lot more organized,” explains Jason Craig, the head coach for the team. “When it first started, it was just something to do and then it quickly evolved into a business. With any type of business, there’s lot of stuff to do to keep it going.”
Some of the “stuff” to keep the team going involves generating sponsors and revenue to support expenses, which is an ongoing occurrence. But, the Sirens do more than skate. Over the past five years they have spent many hours and resources giving back to the community and have established themselves as an institution within the CSRA.
“Because of [roller] derby, it has raised my level of community involvement,” says Craig. “We’re always doing stuff in the community anywhere we can.”
And he does mean anywhere.
“Whether it be giving out water at Ironman or stamping hands at the pub crawl,” he adds, “but we also go to benefits — we’re not trying to make money, we’re just trying to help. Like last night, we went to steak night at the American Legion and let all the vets and everybody just take the night off. We had girls that were serving, and I was washing dishes and we did all that stuff. We give back to the community as much as we can.”
Another aspect of the derby that most people may not know about is how close-knit and family-like the women on the team are. They may look like adversaries on the rink, but off the skates they’re all friends.
When asked her favorite part of being a Soul City Siren, skater Sophia Jones (aka Ragin Contagion) replied with no hesitation, “The camaraderie.”
She explains further, “I moved up here [from St. Petersburg, Florida] with my husband in the summer of 2010 and didn’t know anybody, so it was an easy way to get to meet people and have a support system and that kind-of thing.”
Veronica Mulkey (aka Domestic Disturbance), the Sirens’ current captain and president, was also quick to brag about the camaraderie on the team.
“We all hang-out outside of derby,” Mulkey says. “We all lose our tempers sometimes at practice but, in the end, we’re all on the same team. We all go out together — we have parties at each other’s houses… they gave me a bachelorette party… we’ve had several baby showers… We’re like a big extended family.”
The Sirens have six home bouts scheduled for the 2013 season that will take place at Red Wing Rollerway. Bouts are family friendly and children 12 years old and under get in free.
“We just bought our own bounce house,” Mulkey says, explaining that the team wanted something for the younger kids to do at the bouts and this is something everyone will enjoy. Soul City Sirens vs. the Richland County Regulators
Red Wing Rollerway
Sunday, February 24
Doors, 5:30 p.m.; bout, 6:30 p.m.
$10, advance; $15, door
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