CASA GRANDE – Macy Anderson was about 2 or 3 years old when her parents nicknamed her “Thrasher” for her tendency to knock things over.

Now 20 and a member of the Casa Grande Roller Derby team, Anderson will answer to the name “Thrasher” when she rolls into competition for the world roller derby games in October in Argentina as a member of Team USA.

“It’s so exciting to be a member of Team USA and a huge honor,” Anderson said. “More than 90 women tried out for the team. Only 18 were picked and 15 will get to skate.”

Anderson, who also skated with Team USA in 2019 when they competed in Barcelona, Spain, believes she was chosen for the 2022 team due to her skating abilities as well as her game knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

She has been skating and competing in roller derby since she was 10 years old and has been a member of several winning teams on the national level.

“I was on a few different juniors teams as a kid,” she said. “As a kid, I skated every day. I love the sport.”

Now a college student and Tempe resident, Anderson said roller derby is still a big part of her life.

“I love the sport. It’s competitive and physical,” she said. “I had more time for it when I was younger — now I have to schedule it around my classes and work.”

Earlier this year, Anderson tried out for the national USA Roller Derby team, traveling to Texas to compete for a spot on the squad.

She was notified in mid-April that she made the team.

As a member of the team, she’ll stay in shape, hone her skills and travel with the team to Argentina in October for the World Skate Games.

Teams travel from around the globe to take part in the international event that features competition in all skating disciplines, including roller derby.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Anderson said.

Anderson has been skating with the Casa Grande Roller Derby team, the Big House Bombers, for nearly two years.

She joined the team after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the temporary closure of several other skating clubs.

“Casa Grande Roller Derby was the first group in the area to start skating again after COVID,” Anderson said. “They are an amazing group of women who just want to skate and have fun. They gave me a place to skate during COVID and became my safe space.”

She visited with Casa Grande Roller Derby founder Kelli Brown and participated in several scrimmages before joining the team.

She has become a favorite, skating with the Big House Bombers in competitions. During bouts, she’s known as “Thrasher #20.”

“I love my Casa Grande skating family,” she said. “The Casa Grande Roller Derby facility is amazing, and it’s awesome what Kelli has done with the organization.”

Casa Grande Roller Derby is a nonprofit organization that started in 2017 with about five women. It’s grown into a club with dozens of members and a competitive roller derby team that has regular matches against teams from around the state.

As well as competitive roller derby action, the club also has other programs for new skaters and non-competitors.

The Casa Grande Roller Derby’s competition team often hosts games in its facility, the former high school gym on Picacho Avenue at the City Hall complex, and also travels to other communities for events.

Anderson attends Grand Canyon University and is working on a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports performance. When she graduates, she hopes to work as a conditioning coach, helping people exercise.

Eventually, she’d like to earn a master’s degree and then ultimately, study to become a chiropractor.

Skating and roller derby, she said, keeps her fit, active and engaged with the community.

“Roller derby is a lifestyle,” she said. “And it’s a sport that takes a lot of dedication. You have to love it.”

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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