Baltimore area moms tear up the rink in roller derby

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rollermom 2By Hannah Anderson, Assistant Editor

At Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, a bunch of women are ready to battle it out in a bout of roller derby.

Music begins playing, and the announcer steps into the middle of the track. He is wearing a glittery gold suit jacket and black high-heeled boots, and he has long sideburns that give the impression he got lost on his way to a '70s disco. As he begins talking, a woman outside the track kneels down and hugs her young son.

"Are you ready to watch mommy play?" she asks him.

The encounter seems out of place in this arena full of spandex-clad women on roller skates and fans who may have had one too many beers. The back of the mom's shirt tells her name, "Smearin' Off Ice," and her number, 716. She is here to tear it up in the roller derby rink.

Flat track roller derby is a team contact sport played on roller skates, and Smearin' Off Ice, known at home as Erin Maher-Moran of Nottingham, plays for Baltimore's all-female roller derby league, Charm City Roller Girls (CCRG). The six-team league, which plays at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, was created in 2005. Since then, it has grown from just a few founding members to more than 150 women, about 30 of which are moms.

For Mindy Goldman of Abingdon, aka "Ellie Vation," playing roller derby provides her with some much-needed grownup time after spending most of her day with her 2 ½-year-old son.

"Here, I get to watch my language a little less, and I get out of the toddler frame of mind where I'm watching Mickey Mouse and Elmo all the time," says the 30-year-old stay-at-home-mom and part time documentation specialist.

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