COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – After years away from competition, the Muscogee Roller Girls are back for the first time since 2019. The team is gearing up for their bout on April 22 by training and hosting a meet and greet event from 6 to 9 p.m. at Mellow Mushroom’s Columbus location this evening, April 17.

According to Laura Jordan, 46, the team’s public relations and marketing chair and interleague coordinator, the Roller Girls was founded as a non-profit organization in 2012 and includes members from across Harris, Troup and Muscogee counties, as well as parts of Alabama.

“Skating with all women is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had because it teaches patience and how to deal with people from all walks of life,” Jordan said.

In addition to Jordan’s administrative role on the team, she is also one of the 12 skaters on the team’s current roster. Her derby name: SiNnamon Roll.

The name is a nod to Cinnamonroll, the Sanrio character which Jordan explained she chose as a result of several other competitors in Florida – where she first started in roller derby – having Hello Kitty-related names.

Jordan said that when the 2009 movie “Whip It” about a girl who joins a roller derby team came out, it felt like she’d found her calling.

“I said, ‘Oh man, I can finally put my roller-skating skills to use!’” Jordan said with a laugh.

Now a blocker for the Muscogee Roller Girls, Jordan explained that life as a roller derby competitor isn’t easy. She compared the rigor of committing to practices, workout expectations, committee work and events to having a second job.

Despite being a significant undertaking, Jordan said membership has its positives. The competitor mentioned how she loves the physical exertion and the friendships formed from being in the sport. She added that having a responsibility to show up to practice and work on skills can turn around even the worst days.

In total, Jordan estimates that the Roller Girls includes 40 people, most of whom are non-roster members. She said that these include volunteers, non-skating officials, and members who are still working to make the roster, recovering from injury or unable to make a full-time commitment.

Even though the skating roster is restricted to just women, others can participate in the Roller Girls in any other position.

Jordan expressed excitement toward tonight’s meet and greet, which has an added fundraising benefit, something which isn’t always guaranteed. According to the Roller Girls’ website, 15% of proceeds from supporters’ orders instore or online will go towards the team so long as they mention them.

The owner of Mellow Mushroom’s Columbus location Ross White said that their restaurant loves to support local teams and that he hopes tonight’s turnout is “wonderful” for the Roller Girls.

Jordan said, “I think it’s gonna be awesome. The food is great, the atmosphere is great.”