Teachers and doctors. Moms and sisters. The River City Rollergirls don't really care who you are, as long as you're ready to hit someone—and foster an environment that values diversity and gender equity in the process.
The skater- and volunteer-operated league sprouted in early 2006 as Richmond's first all-women's flat-track roller-derby association. At the start, the league featured just two teams—Poe's Punishers and the Uncivil Warriors—but has since expanded to include new members, including the Carytown Cadets, the Hollywood Undertakers, and the Jackson Wardens. All teams take falls and crack skulls as part of the Eastern region of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. But off the track, players put away their growling game faces when participating in community-outreach programs.
Gathering as a furious cloud of super-cooled water, the Norfolk Admirals eventually burst from the American Hockey League nimbus, emerging as NHL stars for the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the storm gathers, cheer on the tail end of their regular season this early April, as they hockey for position in the league's East Conference. The road to the season's close looks tough but promising as the Admirals face bitter rivals from Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
Nadine Domond’s basketball career has taken her around the world, from her high school days as an All-American up through professional stints in France, Poland, Israel, and the WNBA. Today, as a Nike Skills trainer and motivational speaker, she passes on her round-ball wisdom to clients such as the University of North Carolina and Baylor University in an effort to help their players succeed both on and off the hardwood. Individual players at all positions can improve their footwork and ball-handling fundamentals through one-on-one and group training clinics, and entire squads can work on diagramming offensive plays and learning to set picks in grocery-store checkout lines during team camps.
In a large family with eight children, future comedian and Hollywood star Mike Epps relied on making others crumble to the floor with laughter to set him apart from his siblings, parlaying his experience as a class clown into standup gigs in Indiana when he was just a teen. Epps continued to build his ladder to superstardom in Atlanta before venturing to bigger ponds in New York at the age of 21, conquering the comedy-club circuit and attracting the attention of HBO's Def Comedy Jam series, which he would host in 2006. His lanky physicality and shape-shifting vocal talents have earned him roles in such blockbusters as The Hangover, All About the Benjamins, and The Fighting Temptations, and his wide-ranging standup sets––which frequently discuss race relations, celebrity peers, and American politics––have busted guts at major venues throughout the country.
A row of flags hangs in solidarity from the rafters above an indoor ice rink, uniting Canada, the USA, and Sweden in the one passion that they all have in common: hockey. Iceland of Hampton Roads fosters this love of icy sports in skaters of all ages and experience levels via youth hockey leagues, synchronized skating classes, and lessons, in which instructors introduce students as young as age 3 to their reflections in the ice. Both youths and adults compete in 20-game seasons in hockey leagues utilizing USA Hockey rules, and during synchronized skating classes, teams of 8 to 20 skaters choreograph complex skating formations, such as the parallel pinwheel—in which lines of skaters rotate in unison—or the flying V—which they use to head south for the winter.