Samantha Bishop Simmons is the communications coordinator for the Hall Center for the Humanities and a co-captain of a roller derby team.
Why did you decide to join a roller derby team?
I joined a roller derby team in 2010 after finishing graduate school. I had a desk job and lots of free time, so I wanted something to give me a great workout, but also something to do to fill my time. I fell in love with it after starting and moved from a smaller league to Topeka to a larger, nationally competitive league in Kansas City (the Kansas City Roller Warriors) the next year, and I haven’t looked back since then.
How long have you been involved in roller derby?
I have been involved in some form of derby for three and a half years. I’m currently the co-captain of one of our home teams (the Black Eye Susans), have skated on both our B and All Star travels teams, and coach our junior roller girls in the summers.
What’s your favorite part of being captain of a roller derby team?
I haven’t been a co-captain for very long, but what I do love the most about derby is watching women (and increasingly men) of all body types and athletic abilities constantly striving to improve. Everyone can be better, and there is a place for everyone on our teams. Whether it’s watching a brand new girl do her first crossover, watching someone jam in a game for the first time, or cheering for the All-Stars at regional competitions, derby is a place to work toward constant self-improvement, and to be there to cheer on your friends and teammates as they meet their goals too.
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