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Speed Date with the Appalachian Rollergirls This Valentine’s Day at Café Portofino

By Kaitlan Morehouse

Don’t Hate, Speed Date!

Don’t have plans for Valentine’s yet? Join the Appalachian Roller Girls at Café Portofino, 970 Rivers Street, as they host this year’s speed dating event from 6-10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Team Treasurer and Graphic Designer Sarah Holt said the event is a great way to meet the Roller Girls, who give back to the community as much as possible, and they’re looking forward to even more participants than last year.

“Our event last year was a huge success and a lot of fun,” said Holt.

ARG asks for an entry fee of $10 to support its next home bout and local charities including:

  • Hunger and Health Coalition
  • High Country First
  • NAMI High Country
  • Through Healing Eyes
  • F.A.R.M. Café
  • Elkland Art Center
  • Howard St. Exchange
  • Howard St. Cyclovia
  • Blue Ridge Conservancy
  • Beautiful You MRKH Foundation
  • Hickory Soup Kitchen
  • Autism Speaks U
  • Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.

The team also supports local families in need, including The Brandon Bakken Family and The Eric Ford Family.

Don’t Hate, Speed Date!

Speed Date

The girls extend their invitation to the Feb. 14 speed-dating event to anyone over 18, and all orientations are welcome.

“We don’t want to exclude anyone from this event. We want to make everyone feel welcome,” said Outreach Coordinator and new Roller Girl Kimberly Paniagua.

In a recent release from the team, blocker and jammer Erica “Buttah Fury” Stewart said she had a very positive experience participating in last year’s event.

“Last year was fun. I don’t normally talk to people or leave my home, but it was set up and it wasn’t terrifying to talk to people,” she said.

“Fresh meat” skaters participating in this year’s event will include Beth “Towanda Woman” Lewis, Shaina “2 Shainz” Crump and Emily “Doll Fin” Wentworth.

If you plan to speed date, RSVP to [email protected] with your name, age and orientation.

A lot of participants have signed up already. Join the fun, and “Don’t hate, Speed Date!”

For more information, visit the Facebook Event page or the ARG page.

Only ages 21 and up will be permitted to stay at Portofino’s past 10 p.m.

About Bouts

The next ARG home bout is Saturday, April 30 at the Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of ASU against the Low Country B Team, Palmetto.

Bouts aren’t just girls in pigtails rollerblading. No, it’s definitely a sport — a female contact sport where the players wear fishnets.

The idea is that five members of the team are chosen to play: four blockers, whose job it is to protect the jammer, and one jammer, whose helmet has a star on it and tries to skate through the opposing team’s blockers. Points are scored when the jammer legally passes each of the blockers in two minutes time, starting after the initial pass through the pack.

Don't Hate, Speed Date with the Appalachian Rollergirls this Valentine's Day.
Don’t Hate, Speed Date with the Appalachian Rollergirls this Valentine’s Day.

Some derby moves that the teams could employ to pass as many blockers as possible include:

  • Passing the Star
  • Western Style
  • The Whip
  • Walling Up
  • Goating
  • The Diamond
  • Slow Start

About the team

The Appalachian Rollergirls are a 501c3 nonprofit, a tax-exempt organization, and an 18+ all-female skater-run flat track roller derby league based in Boone. Their mission is to encourage female athleticism, empowerment and community awareness through activities, events and charity involvement.

The league was founded in March, 2010 by an ASU student making a post on Facebook. Thanks to Facebook and a local businesswoman, more than 80 women showed up at Skateworld to check out the revival of roller derby in the High Country. ARG has since attracted more than 20 very committed women from around the area. Their coach is a former speed skater who volunteers his time to make sure the Roller Girls stay in the best shape.

ASU also has a division of Roller Girls called the App State Roller Derby Club.

For more information, visit the ARG website.