OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Helmets and pads are essential for roller derby. After all, it's a contact sport on skates.
While it may look hard, members of the Mississippi Rollergirls say the sport is for everyone.
"You don't even have to be able to skate. We will train a woman who is interested to do everything that we do. It takes time, it takes dedication, and it takes patience," said Becky Winstead.
Winstead has been a Rollergirl for two years. The team has been around for 11 years, but membership is in dire straits.
"We had several people to get pregnant. We had our team captain received a pretty significant injury during the last away game of last season," said Winstead.
Those who want to compete must first learn the fundamentals.
"The whole time you're in a stance. said Katelin Suitt, who is trying out for the team. "Basically for the entire practice, two or three hours, you're squatting down and working all your leg muscles."
Though Suitt has been at it for less than a month, she's already hooked.
"They don't care that you can't [skate], they'll help teach you. I fell for like the first three hours. The whole time I was on my butt the first time I came," said Suitt.
The team has enlisted a coach from Mobile to help train the new rollergirls. They have decided not to compete for a season in hopes of building up the roster.
"We would like to recruit and people to come out. Strong women who want to do something for themselves. You know, we give to our families so much during the week that you know we need something for ourselves," said Winstead.
The Mississippi Rollergirls were the first roller derby team in the state, and they would hate to see the team dissipate.
"If we don't have skaters that are interested in playing roller derby, then there's a very good chance that this team will not be here next season," said Winstead.