Women Helping Women

By: Anna Jusino

A few months ago, we were approached by a member of the City of Fists Roller Derby team asking if we'd be interested in partnering with them on their first annual Chili Cook-off. Partnering normally equals two parties working together to reach a goal, so we asked what nadege's end of the partnership would entail. Their answer: "Nothing, we (City of Fists) would like to give nadege half of the profits raised at the event." Our reply: "Ummm, YES!" In the midst of trying to raise enough money for their upcoming season, they are selflessly choosing to donate HALF of the money towards restoring HOPE in Haiti. Wow, we are blown away by their generosity. We sat down with Anna Jusino, a fearless City of Fists player, to learn more about roller derby and why they chose to "partner" with nadege:

How did you get involved with City of Fists?

  • I joined the team in 2013 when I moved to Kokomo and was looking for friends. I wanted something to do that would allow me to meet new people and learn more about this city. I had no idea that these friends from City of Fists would turn into my family - a family that has been through a lot with me. 

What is your hope for this team?

  • My hope for the team is to grow bigger and achieve more than we can ever dream. I would love to see us become an official member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association league one day and compete in the divisional playoffs. I would also love for our team to become a staple in helping out our community. 

What are your goals for the upcoming Chili Cook-off?

  • Our goal is to meet more people and host something that will get the community pumped about derby. We also want to bring attention to local business, give someone bragging rights on their chili, and raise money to support our 2nd home bout this September. We are also very excited to give some of the proceeds to Nadege, Inc. 

Given the amount of money COF needs to raise, why did the team decide to donate half of the proceeds to Nadege, Inc.?

  • We love to see the empowerment of women and want to see others succeed in their dreams and aspirations. When we heard about the possibility of partnering, we loved the idea and what Nadege, Inc stands for.

How can women in general do a better job of empowering other women, whether they live next door or in a different country?

  • We can do better by supporting each other. I dislike the negativity that we hear about one another all of the time. We each have our own battles, and we should try to be more understanding of that. Body image happens to be one that most women can understand and ncouraging words go a long way.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard potential players say, "Well I do not have the body for derby." Our response is "everyone has the body for derby." You shouldn't ever let fear of what others might say stop you from taking on a new adventure.

THANK YOU City of Fists for your willingness to empower women both locally and abroad. If you live in the Kokomo area, join us at the 1st annual Chili Cook-off on February 27th from 5-8pm at Oakbrook Church.