An alternative Christian church in Denver wants to roll out a shop with skates, knee pads and other gear for area roller derby players.
Scum of the Earth Church filed a rezoning application Friday for its site at 935 W. 11th Ave. in Lincoln Park. If approved, the church would give Denver’s strong, women-led roller derby scene a shopping option between the stores in Loveland and Colorado Springs.
“There isn’t actually a roller derby shop in Denver, and we are one of the highest per capita roller derby cities. So we felt there was kind of a need there and that it was something we could fulfill at Scum because we have a lot of roller derby participants at our church,” said Kayleigh Merchant, an administrative assistant at Scum of the Earth.
Merchant is a member of the Denver recreational team the Wreckin’ Roller Rebels. The city has about a dozen others including the Denver Roller Derby and Rocky Mountain Rollergirls with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
The WFTDA is the international governing body for the sport and estimates that nearly 16,000 people in the United States participated in flat track derby in 2015.
Denver’s sole roller derby shop, Derbyville along South Broadway, closed almost two years ago.
“My teammates and I are excited about the prospect of a new shop opening up through Scum of the Earth Church because, well, we are in need of derby gear and most of us would much rather support a local business in our city as well as be able to access products immediately
and tangibly,” said Heather Vigil in a statement supporting the rezoning.
Scum of the Earth plans to open its shop in its sanctuary meeting room and to store the gear in a roughly 50-square-foot closet, said pastor Jesse Heilmann.
“We’d start construction ASAP, which we would consider the City Council approval of the rezoning. I believe we could be opening within six weeks after that,” Heilmann said.
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