The Wide Woo of Sports: Roller derby and the satisfying social (and physical) impact of WoRD with friends

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“I had nothing else going on in my life that I was happy about.
I was just getting up and doing all the things I ‘had’ to do, and it was
filling all the time. So I thought, ‘Why don’t I try something like
roller derby! And oh, there is one in Worcester!’”
Jessica Potts, aka Sweat Dream


There are plenty of physical outlets for men in virtually every community.

From football to beer-league softball, to rugby or cricket, it’s easy for guys to find a way to let out their frustrations.

Finding that outlet isn’t as easy for women, especially those craving competition and contact, but since 2011, Worcester Roller Derby (WoRD) has been filling that void — and providing a unique social environment for ladies of all ages and backgrounds.

Right now, WoRD is in a period of transition. The league, which aims to field two teams and support a junior program, saw the majority of its experienced players move on recently, and right now, the few experienced skaters are just focused on getting the “fresh meat” ready for contact.

Welcome to roller derby, right at home in The Wide Woo of Sports.

Joe Parello / For Worcester Sun

Welcome to roller derby, right at home in The Wide Woo of Sports.

“Our league is going through a big change right now,” Liz Couture said. “Something like two-thirds of our veteran skaters left, just for life reasons. This is a three-day-a-week commitment, so as soon as a baby, or moving pops up, it’s easy for that to happen.

“Usually it’s around two or three people leaving each year, but this time it was, like, everyone, so we’re switching into ‘fresh meat’ mode. We’ve recruited a whole ton of new skaters, and I’ve kind of been running it, even though I don’t feel like I’m that good at it,” Couture added with a laugh.

Liz Couture, aka T-Flex

Joe Parello / For Worcester Sun

Liz Couture, aka T-Flex

Couture, or T-Flex as she’s known on the rink, has been with WoRD for three years, but she’s now a seasoned pro compared to the majority of the roster, with many of the skaters joining within the last year. During their practices upstairs in a warehouse on Suffolk Street, these new skaters battle the heat to earn the right to actually hit each other.


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