Someone You Should Know: The Roller Derby Family

SoDak Attack has built a culture that values family over winning

SIOUX FALLS, SD—  This week’s Someone You Should Know is a team, a roller derby team that has built a team-oriented culture.

Jayme Nelson aka “Pain Maker” started SoDak Attack in 2012 as a way to give kids something she did not have growing up.

“Playing roller derby for so many years myself, all I knew is I wanted the kids to have this opportunity because all I could think was how awesome this would be to have as a kid,” said Nelson.

Building the organization from scratch, Nelson has created her own culture that focuses on becoming a true roller derby family.

“I consider everybody on my team to be my family,” said McKinsey Eirikson, SoDak Attack blocker. “We do so much together. Every day I’m with them I feel so happy. They make me the best person I can be.”

This family focus has brought success to this team.

Being ranked number 19 in the US last year, SoDak shot up to number 11 this and got an invitation to compete in the Junior Roller Derby Associations Championships.

“It took us a long time to get here. We’ve been trying since the beginning of our league, and I’m so happy we were able to make it here,” said Eirikson.

“It is super exciting,” said Emma Nelson, SoDak Attack team captain. “It’s really cool that we made it here, we had to travel like three times that most teams do to play any team. So the fact that we made considering our location is pretty cool.”

Considered to be in a roller derby desert, SoDak says they are realistic about their expectations for the tournament.

“We never lie to ourselves about it. If we’re playing the number one and we’re ranked number 25 we know we’re going to lose. But, we go into it with good attitudes, and we really to just make the most of everything,” said Nelson.

These lessons are the biggest wins of all.

“When they leave here the life lessons get from this will hopefully stay with them. Like how to get along with people, how to work out conflicts those are the big things for me,” said Nelson.

The National Championships will be held in Loveland, Colorado in late July.

No matter the outcome this team will cherish the moment.

“When we focus on having fun, we so much better than we focus on winning,” said Nelson.

SoDak Attack is the only junior roller derby team in South Dakota meaning they will be the first team from South Dakota to compete for a National Championship.


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