Recruitment for members, volunteers and sponsors is under way for Oswego County’s first-ever roller derby team, Oz Roller Girls.
Formed by Victoria Usherwood-Gailinas, former Oswegonian, and her husband, Phil, who the girls call Coach Phil, Oz Roller Girls is meant to bring something different to the Port City and surrounding areas for residents to participate in and also to watch and enjoy. Usherwood-Gailinas has formed three prior roller derby teams, two of which were the first-ever in the state of New Hampshire, where she has resided for the past 15 years.
While there are roughly 20 members on the team so far, Oz Roller Girls is looking for additional women to join their ranks in a sport that builds confidence, fosters comradery and most importantly, is fun and different. There is no set type of roller girl, they come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Any interested woman is more than welcome to join. They are currently training for the 2011-12 season.
The team practices from 7-9 p.m., Monday and Thursday, at the Fort Ontario parking lot. There is also an optional Saturday morning skate from 8-10 a.m., with members meeting at Old City Hall. After their endurance skate, breakfast is held at the Office Tavern in the outside terrace.
Anyone interested in joining the team or stopping down to view a practice must first register on the team’s website, www.ozrgny.com. After the sign up, an e-mail will be sent inviting the interested person to a Monday evening practice where Usherwood-Gailinas will be available to speak with them about Oz Roller Girls and all the team has to offer.
Oz Roller Girls is conducting its first of series of raffles throughout the summer. Currently, derby girls are raffling off a $300 tattoo from Spectrum Dermagraphics, one of the team’s local sponsors. The drawing for the raffle will be held July 15 at practice. While this raffle is meant to raise money for the league and help get Oz Roller Girls on their feet so they can give back to the community they live in, it also serves a more community-minded purpose. Some of the proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, a charity the team has chosen to support.
There will be other raffles and fundraising events throughout the summer, so continue to check Oz Roller Girls’ website, www.ozrgny.com, for updates, or sign up for the league’s newsletter. As a derby team, Oz Roller Girls is dedicated to helping promote small businesses in the area, and is looking for sponsors to trade in-kind services, to donate products or money to help the team give back to the community its members live in.
Oz Roller Girls is hosting a bake sale outside of Bosco and Geers, in Oswego, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday. Stop on over and meet Oswego’s roller derby girls.
The first major event Oz Roller Girls will participate in is Oswego’s annual Fourth of July Parade, which this year, will be held on the Fourth of July. They will be teamed up with Dynamic Sound and Security, of Oswego, and will skate around the company’s truck throughout the parade route. Recruitment will be under way during the parade as well, so keep your eyes open for the Oz Roller Girls in their lime green and blue colors skating around the streets of Oswego.