Derby days

. April 26, 2013.
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Who says little boys are the only ones who like to play rough? Certainly not Shelby Clauson, who has organized Toledo’s first junior roller derby, aptly named “Frogtown Fallgirls,” where girls can skate, smash, and block to their hearts’ content. A former derby girl herself, Clauson, whose player name is “Knit Wit,” had to walk away from the sport because of time constraints and life circumstances. Her 13-year-old identical twin girls loved watching their mom play, and it occurred to Clauson that she could combine two loves — derby and parenting — by starting a junior derby league for girls ages 10-17. The goal is for the pack to help their jammer (who wears a star on her helmet) to pass as many people on the opposite team as possible. Each time the jammer passes a player from the other team, her team receives a point. This is all done while circling a flat track on rollerskates. Clauson’s enthusiasm for her “labor of love” is clear in her explanation of derby’s benefits: “The girls learn teamwork, sisterhood, and physical fitness. We don’t discriminate … there’s a place for every girl in derby. Size is not an issue, athletic ability is not an issue, skating ability is not an issue. As long as she’s interested and enthusiastic, we’ll take her!” Girls interested in skating for Frogtown Fallgirls should check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ToledoJuniorRollerDerby. Parents may contact Clauson at ToledoJrRollerDerby@gmail.com.  —EM