Roller Derby takes center stage in Columbia County

Low Down Throw Down Roller Derby Tournament in Grovetown, GA -- May 20, 2016

GROVETOWN, GA — It is an event that will bring hundreds of people and thousands of dollars to our area this weekend. Augusta’s Soul City Sirens Roller Derby team is hosting the third-annual Low Down Throw Down at the Columbia County Exhibition Center.

“It’s women in skates and it’s full contact,” said Jessica Pae of the Sirens, also known as “Hell2Pae” in Roller Derby parlance.

11 teams from across the Southeast will compete over the next three days, with one champion emerging.

“It’s actually pretty awesome that Augusta is getting to host this and Soul City Sirens are getting to put on this tournament,” Pae said. “Teams fight to get in, they want to play here.”

“When I was a kid I loved to skate and it was like football on skates and a contact sports and I was in,” said Melanie Shepard, a.k.a. “Deadpool Diva”, of the Muscogee Roller Girls from Columbus, Ga.

The rules are a little complex, but from a spectator standpoint, if you like watching a running back try to break through the line in football, it’s like two hours of that…but on skates.

“We’re wearing all the gear, helmets, elbow guards, wrist pads, knee pads, we’re on quad skates,” Pae said. “it’s a hard-hitting action-packed game.”

16 games will take place throughout the weekend, and for the first time this tournament is recognized by the national Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association, meaning each game counts toward national rankings.”

“It’s super fun to play and it’s entertaining to watch,” said Pae. “A lot of big hits. Girls going fast, getting knocked down. It’s a fun sport.”

The Sirens play their only game of the weekend Friday night at 8pm. Games will continue all day Saturday and Sunday starting at noon each day.

WHO: Soul City Sirens

WHAT: Low Down Throw Down

WHEN: Friday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm each day

WHERE: Columbia County Exhibition Center, Grovetown

WHY: Proceeds benefit Veterans K-9 Solutions, Inc.

MORE INFORMATION: soulcitysirens.com

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