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Roller derby invades Patchogue’s Alive After Five

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About a dozen members of Strong Island Derby Revolution were hand in Patchogue Village for the summer’s second installment of Alive After Five Thursday night.

The theme for the event was “A Celebration of Women in the Arts.”

Related: It’s Alive After Five with a conscience

We caught up with one of the derby players before the event:

About 10 of the women will be on skates, in uniform, said Derby Revolution member and spokeswoman for the club, Kristi Altieri, aka “Bite Size Brawler.” Though there won’t be an active derby bout.

“We’ll have skaters on skates, which definitely draws attention. That’s not something a lot of people don’t see much any more,” Altieri said. “We’re going to skate, have a good time and represent what a strong, female athlete is.”

The group was formed in 2011 and is now 60 members strong, with most of the women, ages 21 to well into their 40s, hailing from Suffolk County. A few come from Nassau County.

The women compete on a flat track, not the raised tracks some might remember from the staged, eye-gouging, stomach-elbowing derby battles that were televised in the 1980s and 1990s.

Altieri stresses this is a real sport, and any kicking or gouging will result in a penalty.

The woman all pay dues that go back into the league, and for travel games.

Many of the more recent recruits, called cadets, didn’t even know how to roller skate when they joined the league, and that included Altieri when she first got involved in the club four years ago.

“It’s changed my life,” she said. “I’m a better teammate now, and a better person.”

As for their involvement in Alive After Five, the Derby Revolution members, who practice and have games at the World Gym arena in East Setauket, said the organizers reached out to them.

“For this coming Thursday, it’s women in the arts,” Altieri said. “They heard about us, we’re strong women and they definitely wanted us to be a part of the event.

“This is all great exposure for us.”

Alive After Five starts at 5 p.m. and runs until about 9:30 p.m. on Main Street in Patchogue.

mike@greaterpatchogue.com

Photos courtesy Strong Island Derby Revolution. The photo above was taken at World Gym in East Setauket in March by Mena Sposito. The bout was The Revolution vs. Hartford Wailers.

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com