Senior Jams to Roller Derby Victory

Sydney Christofferson finds inspiration in skating for Houston junior team


Graciela Martinez

Senior Sydney Christofferson puts on her roller skates. “My favorite thing about roller derby is the people because it’s inclusive and they accept everyone,” Christofferson said.

Jada East, Staff Writer

She studies the opponents in front of her, sizing them up from behind as she continues to skate. In her eyes is a look of determination, a calculating glaze. The bell rings, signaling the first “jam.” She takes off, skating in full speed  in attempt to get past the four people blocking her path to victory.

Senior Sydney Christofferson has been competing in roller derby for two and a half years and currently plays for the Houston Roller Derby Juniors. According to Christofferson, although many of games are memorable, a select few stand out in her memory.

“The first tournament my team played in has to be one of the most memorable games to me,” Christofferson said. “One of my teammates broke [another] girl on my team’s nose. Also, when we played at a comic convention, that was incredibly fun, because we got to play in front of a whole new group of people and educate them on derby.”

Roller derby is a contact sport with five skaters on each team. Four of the five skaters are called “blockers,” and one skater is called a “jammer.”  The jammers start behind the four blockers and score a point for every opponent they lap.

“There are a lot of pros in playing roller derby,” Christofferson said. “It builds your self-esteem up and shows you that you are capable of something. It teaches you a lot of important skills such as arm work, responsibility and dedication. The cons are, of course, injuries. I’m almost always sore. It’s also time consuming, so unless you’re ready for it to take over your life, it’s probably not great to get into.”

Senior Andrew Arnold has seen Christofferson play and commended on her on the performance.

“When you first talk to Sydney, you would never suspect a girl like her plays such a rough sport,” Arnold said. “Watching her play was an amazing experience, because you can see the passion in her moments even as she’s trying to knock the other team down or block the others from scoring.”

According to Christofferson, while roller derby has impacted her life both positively and negatively, she looks forward to it bringing different opportunities for her future.

“It’s something I love, and I wouldn’t want to give it up,” Christofferson said. “It’s the most important part of my life, and even if I’m not playing, I would want to be involved.”