Columbus firefighters will lace up skates and face off against a local female roller derby team to benefit the Firemen’s Cheer Fund.
The third annual Skates and Ladders fundraiser event will be at 6:30 p.m. July 30 at the Columbus Skateland, 2660 N. Talley Road.
All proceeds from ticket and concession sales, as well as donations, will support the Cheer Fund to help local families in need during the Christmas season.
Fourteen members of the Columbus Fire Department have volunteered to compete in roller derby with the Terrorz, a Columbus roller derby team made up of 42 women.
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“It’s something we don’t do every day,” said Ben Noblitt, a Columbus firefighter. “It’s a bunch of big firemen on roller skates getting slammed around and beat up on by a bunch of women roller derby members. Our wives enjoy it.”
Noblitt, whose roller derby name is “The Flying Squirrel,” has volunteered to be on the firefighters’ team every year since they began the competition in 2015. Now, Noblitt is the leader of the pack, and hopes to help the firefighters achieve their first victory.
The Terrorz are undefeated Skates and Ladders champions for the past three years, but Terrorz member Tiffany Kapczynski said the firemen are trying to improve their showing in the competition this year.
“Year one was really fun because they had no clue what they were doing,” said Kapczynski, who goes by DeKAPitator at the rink. “We have a lot of repeat roster guys, so I think they’re going to actually try to up their game. Some of them have been going to open skate to try to get a little more skills on the track.”
During the roller derby battle, known as a bout, five members of each team are on the track at one time. Four teammates serve as blockers, while one serves as a jammer.
The jammer scores points by lapping members of the other team. The blockers play both defense and offense as they try to hinder the opposing jammer while helping their own jammer. Blockers can use body contact, change positions and other tactics.
“The best part of the event is that all of the money goes back to the community,” Kapczynski said. “Both of our groups are very focused on our community as a whole. It’s really good to bring those two totally different aspects — firefighters versus roller derby girls — all together for one cause.”
The Terrorz invite the firefighters to multiple training sessions throughout the month leading up to the event. Their final practice day before the event will be July 26 at Skateland.
More than 150 people attended the inaugural Skates and Ladders, and Noblitt said he expects to pack the indoor skate rink once again for this year’s bout.
“The more we’ve done it, the more popular it has gotten and the bigger it has gotten,” Noblitt said. “It’s actually second or close to being our second highest fundraiser (for the Cheer Fund).”
Admission is $5, and children 10 years old and under are free.
What: Third annual Skates and Ladders fundraiser event for the Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund
When: 6:30 p.m. July 30 (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Where: Columbus Skateland, 2660 N. Talley Road
How much: $5 general admission, children 10 and under are free. All proceeds support the Firemen’s Cheer Fund, to help needy families at Christmas.
For more information: Visit terrorzrollerderby.com