Sober? Roller derby, exercise: Best sober activity

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Sober? Roller derby, exercise: Best sober activity

From staff reports

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When it comes to finding sober activities, UREC and Roller Derby top the rest.

Roller Derby:

Have you ever felt the need to strap on a pair of roller skates and beat the snot out of someone in intense, full-contact, flat-track action? Well, the Rolling Hills Derby Dames, winners of the 2015 Student Choice Awards for Best Sober Activity, are the right group for you.

Pullman’s own Rolling Hills Derby Dames first established themselves in 2010, and at the time consisted of only four members. Krissy Kurbstomp joined in 2013, and said they now have a full team and more than 30 volunteers.

The Rolling Hills Derby Dames’ website states they are entirely skater-owned and operated, and while they follow the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) standards and interact with other local leagues, they do not have to play by “corporate rules and regulations.” This means the Dames are able to rely on their passion and performance in this extremely physical sport to grow and thrive in the Pullman community.

They meet to practice a few days each week and have bouts and other events throughout the year, most of which are hosted in the Gladish Community Center gymnasium in Pullman. Kurbstomp said that they are always open to new members and that you do not necessarily need experience to try it out.

The Dames have a “Fresh Meat orientation program,” designed to help new skaters learn about the sport and to have some good, old-fashioned, butt-kicking fun. Fresh Meat members learn new skills week by week until they can successfully meet the WTFDA minimum skills requirements, after which they are eligible to attend an additional bouter’s practice each week.

Kurbstomp says the local support has been great, and that their last event was sold out, standing room only. Their family-friendly approach and work with local nonprofit organizations have helped them build strong relationships in the area, culminating in this award for Best Sober Activity. Kurbstomp said she is appreciative that the community has been so supportive.

“I’m honored,” she said. “We try really hard to be athletes and to do our best on the track, so if people like to watch that, it is phenomenal.”


For many WSU students, University Recreation (better known as UREC) provides some of the best opportunities for fun and challenging activities. With the Student Recreation Center (SRC), the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) and the outdoor playfields on campus, students have several options to fulfill their needs, which is why UREC is the winner of the 2015 Student Choice Awards Best Sober Activity.

Jeff Elbracht, director of facilities for UREC, said UREC is always concerned with student needs when making decisions.

Elbracht, who has been with UREC since 1997, said that before the SRC was built, there was tremendous demand from the community that was not being met. But since that time, UREC and the SRC have evolved to a point where their facilities are used by hundreds of students every day. And since students are the ones who finance the operation of the SRC through mandatory fees, Elbracht said it is great to see them using what they paid for and what they made happen.

As for future developments, UREC plans on keeping up with evolving student interests by constructing new areas throughout campus that accommodate programs and activities. Their development plan lists steps that include opening a South Campus Satellite facility and an Adventure and Sports Center facility.

By offering many different activities through their various facilities, UREC provides an opportunity for students to meet their recreational needs. Whether it be weight lifting, swimming, rock climbing, backpacking, or playing outdoor sports, UREC strives to provide diverse activities for all. Elbracht said this is a point of emphasis for the organization, and the Student Choice Award is a great way for the WSU students to acknowledge UREC’s efforts.

“I’m very glad because the students are who we’re here to serve,” Elbracht said. “We try to find some way to meet every student’s needs in some way or another.”

The SRC is open seven days a week from morning to night, while the ORC is open Monday through Friday.