The W-League Rookie Franchise of the Year in 2010, the Colorado Rush take on all slide-tackling opposition with grace, skill, and determination. Cheer on the Rush as they host their northerly neighbors, the Victoria Highlanders, in a battle of pinpoint passing, fierce shots on goal, and precisely catapulted orange slices. A beverage and a baked-good treat (a $3–$5 value each) provide fuel for enthusiastic shouting and ringing high-fives. Fans should remain glued to seats during the break for the Thunder Team, members of a special-needs program who will perform a halftime show. Seating is general admission (a $6 value each for adults; a $3 value each for children), so arrive anytime after 6 p.m. to stake a claim near the most fetching patch of sod.
Derby was reborn in the early 2000s as a ferociously fun sport. Nearly all modern leagues are composed of female, DIY-spirited bands of punky costumed, vicious-monikered rascals who shove each other on traditional quad roller skates. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver's original all-women flat-track roller derby league, is operated by the more than 40 skaters who makeup its six teams: home teams Red Ridin' Hoods, Sugar Kill Gang, Dooms Daisies, Kill Scouts, and traveling teams, Fight Club and the Contenders. These fearless athletes leave bouts with sprained shoulders, bruises, and hematomas, which is nothing compared to the competitors' pain (the ladies took home second place in the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association regional tournament and fourth in the national tournament).
In July 2013, Scott and Heidi Moore achieved the title of godan, or fifth-degree black belt. Since they have over 50 years of experience combined and have acted as coaches and participants in countless competitions (including the Olympic trials and Paralympics), the belts were well-earned. At Denver Judo, they and a team of first-, second-, and third-degree black belts teach the art of judo to practitioners of all ages and abilities, including those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The martial art focuses on throws and grappling as opposed to punches and kicks.
On April 10, 2012, the Central Hockey League announced the Denver Cutthroats as the league's newest member. A little more than six months later, on October 19, the team played its first game ever—a 4–3 overtime loss to the Missouri Mavericks. Despite the outcome, the game marked the return of hockey to Denver Coliseum, which hadn't been skated professionally since the IHL's Denver Rangers' 1988-89 season. As an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, the Cutthroats—a name chosen in honor of Denver's state fish, the Greenback cutthroat trout— immediately developed a connection with local hockey fans. Fans get to share their support directly with The Stream, a place right outside the home team's locker room covered with inspirational messages and lasagna recipes inscribed on paper fish by the Cutthroat faithful.
SwimLabs Swim School’s instructors have two priorities: teaching kids and adults how to swim and helping competitive swimmers optimize their strokes. In addition to CPR and first-aid certifications backed by years of experience, the instructors are aided by swimming-pool technology. Their private and small-group lessons take place in SwimLabs Pools with adjustable currents, each about 10’x16’ and heated to 90–92 degrees to prevent polar-bear infestations. The custom currents can give beginner students a boost or challenge advanced swimmers with more forceful resistance waves. As swimmers paddle against the current, the staff records their strokes with Dartfish video technology. They then analyze the results together, comparing the swimmer’s form to a video of proper technique.
A South Suburban Parks and Recreation course, Family Sports Golf Course showcases a nine-hole, par 31 layout that loops around a two-tier driving range. True to its name, the course caters to all members of the family, including seasoned adults practicing their short game touch, beginning juniors making a smooth foray into the game, and grandmothers looking to back up claims of 350-yard drives. Renovated in 2009, the two-tier driving range invites players to hone their stroke on one of 25 grass tees or 30 tees that are covered, lighted, and heated year-round.
LA Boxing’s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.