Vacant store turns into roller derby track in Phillipsburg, NJ

When you think mall, you think shopping and the food court, but what about a roller derby track? 

 FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer has the story. 

It’s the start of a new season for the Two Rivers Roller Derby team. The team is looking to bring in new players to fill their new home.

"There are no balls, no pucks, no sticks it is bodies and roller skates and you are just trying to outskate your opponents and avoid their hits and hit them out of your way," Jessica McGinley, known as Alexandra Slamilton, said.

The once Old Navy clothing store inside the Philipsburg mall is now converted into a flat track. The team moved in about two months ago. The large store’s flat smooth floors make it the perfect spot.

"We call it an 'Old Wavy' because we are two rivers, I know there are no waves in rivers but you have to have fun in roller derby," Hannah Milagio, known as Brish Please, said.

Fun is what roller derby is all about so is coming up with a good derby name.

"So I have a history degree and I love the musical Hamilton, so Alexandra Slamilton was a perfect choice," McGinley said.

 For Hannah Milagio, her derby name Brish Please came to her out of the blue.

"A derby name is like an alter ego you take on when you hit the track," she said. "In my daily life, I am a regular everyday person that goes to the grocery store and does their laundry, but when I am here, I have attitude I will hit you with my butt. I will take you out if I need to."

The 'Old Wavy' brings the team together a few nights a week for practice. It’s a place for these players to grow.

"I have found a group of people that makes me feel strong, worthy and powerful and valued. I hadn’t found that anywhere else, so I keep coming back here," Chistine Semanek, who is known as Jo Rolling, said.