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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After three years without playing, the Abilene Roller Derby team has made a comeback in its 10th season.

Founded in 2010, the team took a break from the sport with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the Derby team is ready to celebrate its 10th season of play and nurture friendships.

Despite whistles, timeouts and falls, the team has battled through and is grateful to be back on the ice. Kim “Kimichi” Burns, a member of the team, told KTAB/KRBC that the team goes beyond the 90-minute game.

“These girls are not just my teammates and my family,” Burns said. “We were all in touch (during COVID) and we finally realized, ‘Hey, it’s time, it’s more than time. Other teams are running and saying, ‘Let’s go.'”

In the team’s second game of the season, they faced the San Antonio Las Pistolaras on Saturday at the Abilene Convention Center. Bobbie “Boobius Maximus” Hash, a member of the team, said she was happy to be back with her girls and the community behind them.

“Years ago. It wasn’t the biggest turnout. We didn’t have a lot of support, but through the girls on our team and the new connections we’ve made, I’m glad we have the support we have now,” Hash said. “We kind of kept our friendship together and then came back stronger because we wanted to do it. We were so ready for it.”

As the game progressed, the aggressive competition turned into a show of friendship due to the sportsmanship of the opposing teams. Hash explained that this positive attitude and fun factor was an essential part of the game.

“It’s a dangerous sport and we want to look out for each other, but as long as we’re kind to each other, everyone will have fun,” Hash said. “We don’t know these girls, we don’t talk to them every day, but when we’re on the track, there’s just something different.”

The roller derby team continues its 10th season with its next game on July 27th against the Rockin City team.