Classic City Rollergirls demonstrate a jam for the clients of the Athens Community Council on Aging. The Classic City Rollergirls visited the Athens Community Council on Aging in downtown Athens on Thursday, Feb. 21 to talk about roller derby and demonstrate some moves they use on the track. (Photo/Kaley Lefevre, kaley.lefevre@gmail.com)

You wouldn’t think there would be much common ground between clients of the Athens Community Council on Aging and the local roller derby team. But the Classic City Rollergirls still found something to talk about when they visited the center Thursday morning.

Five rollergirls – Cirque du Slay, Sylvia Rath, Hellatrix DeRanged, Fun Size and Kill Easy – entertained the crowd for about an hour, showing them different derby moves and talking about the sport.

Some seniors in the crowd said they could still remember watching roller derby on TV a few decades ago.

The local Rollergirls league, which was established in 2006, pride themselves on their involvement with the community, as well as their nonprofit status. Every skater that’s part of the league does volunteer work at least once a quarter, which allows the league to do something every month to help a community in Athens.

“We like to do things where it empowers women, empowers families and improves the choices people have to make in their lives,” Cirque Du Slay said.

The rollergirls discussed safety practices and rules of roller derby commonly applied during a bout, a match in roller derby-speak. They showed the crowd what it looks like for a jammer to break through the blockers, who would be attempting to keep the skater from passing.

Stacia Coggins, the adult day health activity coordinator at ACCA, said events like this will often bring out the personalities of her clients, especially since there’s such a wide range of ages and interests.

“I think they really like when people come in … it’s fresh faces,” she said.

Clients at ACCA have a range of disabilities, some of which are physical and others cognitive. Still, Coggins said promoting community involvement by bringing in groups like the rollergirls brings excitement into the day-to-day activities hosted at the center.

“They’ll definitely be chatty about the rollergirls,” Coggins said. “They’ll ask about them again, the ones who are really into it.”

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