Training key in Sirens success

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Augusta, GA -- For the past few years, roller derby in Augusta has gone from a fun hobby to a legitimate sport. The Soul City Sirens are playing at the nation's highest level, and they got there with a combination of good training and committed players.

Derby girl Monica Warner has only been at it for two months, but she's all in.

"Oh I'm thirsty. I want some blood. I'm ready. I am so ready," Warner said.

She might have been exaggerating just a little bit, but Warner's clear love of roller derby is just what the Sirens are looking for.

Kristina Perez is the team's vice president and plans most of the training of young players.

She said, "I like to see some passion. If they seem like they're genuinely interested in coming in here to play a sport, then I'm very tuned in to that."

The past five years, the Sirens have built their way up from the bottom, finding girls from all walks of life to fill the team. And you'd be surprised at just how many of them are trying their first sport when they lace up the skates.

"I actually detest exercise," Warner said. "Going out to the mailbox was like the most exercise I used to get."

Amanda Wingate has been skating for five months, and she agreed.

"Well, if you look around you see girls of all shapes and sizes, so you're like, 'Oh, I look like her. I can do this.'"

The team welcomes one and all, but be prepared to work. It's a long process to go from walking through the door to finally suiting up for a bout.

Perez said, "We have girls that train anywhere from about six months to up to a year and a half. It can take your body a long time just to be conditioned for it."

So who are these women that decide to dedicate their time to a sport that's really just starting to gain more popularity?

Wingate, a teacher, said, "We've got other teachers, stay-at-home moms, scientists..."

No matter what their job is, whether they're an accomplished athlete or have never played anything, or where their from...the training bonds the Sirens together and motivates them to finally get to that first bout.

"The lights down, the music playing and just going out," Wingate said. "My daughter will be standing on the side to get a little high five so I'm looking forward to that."

You can find the Sirens on Facebook for more information. They also practice Sundays from 10:45 AM to 1:15 PM and Mondays and Tuesdays from 6:45 PM to 9:15 PM.

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