OLEAN, NY – The Hellbilly Heartbreakers of the Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby have home matches scheduled for Saturdays July 16 and Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the William O. Smith Recreation Center, 551 E. State St.
For both matchups, the doors will be open for ticket holders at 6:30 p.m.
This Saturday's match will be against the Poison Pixies of Seacoast Roller Derby of New Hampshire. The Aug.6 match will be against the Port City Roller Derby of Oswego, a team the Hellbilly Heartbreakers beat 197-143 on Aug. 15, 2015.
Roller derby is quite a physical sport, and according to John Anastasia, youth and recreation director at the center, the facility hosts the derby because of mutual benefit.
“We’re always looking for new events and groups to utilize our recreation center,” Anastasia said. “It’s a multi-purpose recreation center, so we always welcome new groups. Roller derby was something new and different, and it offered people a different form of recreation to spectate, and it’s been a very positive thing for our facility.”
Anastasia also said the benefits extend to the teammates.
“It got a whole group of women who like roller derby a chance to play their home games in a league,” he noted.
The Greater Olean Area community has responded well to the roller derby, showing strong support at different matchups and constant interest in their performances, he added. “It’s been very well-received by the community," Anastasia said. "We really like having them there. They’ve been a great group for us. They’ve gotten good attendance for their bouts and it’s something different. They’ve got a pretty good following from people that enjoy watching the sport.”
Programs that bring in people from the immediate community and the surrounding areas are "always good," Anastasia added. "It’s good for business. It's good for our rec center because it exposes people to our facility. I think it’s always a plus when you have an event that can get people in Olean.”
Anastasia broke down how he thought the inclusion of roller derby would continue to be a successful venture for participants, the facility and the area in general.
“I just always think that any form of recreation is good for the community,” Anastasia said. “It gives people something to do, whether they are participating or spectating the sport. I think it is a good way to spend your leisure time for recreation and entertainment, so I think they have a solid organization so we hope to have them (as) a part of our facility for a long time.”
Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby could not be reached for comment. According to the Hellbilly Facebook page, presale tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Sports Locker, the Olean Chamber of Commerce, or from any league member. Tickets at the door are $10. Ages 10 and under are free.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; first is at whisle at 7:30 p.m.