CLAREMORE — Tucked away behind the Claremore Arby’s on Will Rogers Blvd., Roller World hides from the community. The skating rink, recently purchased by Jordan and Angie Hinds, is a safe place for locals to enjoy leisurely roller skating with the family, take a date, or for area students to hang out.
But if you like speed, danger, competition and racing, maybe the Claremore Chaos speed skating team is more to your liking.
“It’s been going since February of last year,” said Jordan Hinds during a recent Chaos practice Wednesday. “We’re still a baby.”
Though the team is fairly new, it is growing.
“On our official roster that have paid their dues, we have 26 or 27,” Hinds said. “The unofficial roster, people who come and practice with us on a regular basis, we have close to 40.”
All ages are welcome as well.
“Our youngest is 4 and our oldest is 69,” Hinds said.
Some of the team members recently attended a regional competition in Wichita, Kan. The top four finishers in individual races and the top five in relays qualifies for the USA Roller Sports National Championships starting July 14 in Lincoln, Neb.
The Wichita regional hosted teams from 13 states, which is the largest of eight regions across the country. Approximately 150 to 200 athletes competed at the regional.
“Unfortunately, it was one of the lower attended regionals that they have had in a long time,” Hinds said. “It’s working its way back. It is still trying to get into the Olympics, and if that happens, you’ll see people starting to take note.”
It all started for the Claremore team by joining USA Roller Sports, which is the head organization for the sport. Other disciplines include outdoor speed skating, figure skating, inline hockey, roller derby and slalom.
“It is the national governing body for all roller sports,” Hinds said. “It is part of Team USA, the Olympic Committee...so if you want to go anywhere in the sport, that’s the entity that you have to follow their rules.”
Hinds, being a local chiropractic specialist, knows the dangers of the sport. Humans going fast on wheels on a hard surface in a crowded rink can cause bruises, sprains and broken bones. And it does happen, even to his daughter Brynlee, who is on the team heading to nationals.
It must be a teeth-clenching time when his daughter races.
“It is,” he said. “She’s had some falls and it’s like every other sport,” he said. “You can injure yourself. They are going very fast. The wood (floor) is better than concrete. The concrete is very rough,”
Brylnee was a regional champion last year in the Tiny Tots division, but this year, she is the youngest in the next age group.
“She qualified for nationals last year, but we didn’t take her,” Hinds said. “I should have taken her because she would have been a national champion last year.”
Odds are long that she can win a national championship as the youngster in a group, but you never know.
“It depends on who shows up,” Hinds said. “If they show up in force, she’s going to have to fight to earn it. The bad thing about nationals is sometimes people don’t show. They qualify for it, but as awesome as it is as a sport, it is expensive.”
But at the local level, things are more affordable.
“Our starting level isn’t too expensive,” Hinds said. “You have your skates that you have to buy. If you are going to go to meets, you’re going to need a uniform and a helmet. If you are going to do regionals and nationals, it’s expensive.”
Hinds, and fellow coach Daren Foust, are planning on hosting a competition in November as part of a league. They are hoping to grow interest and grow the team.
“Starting in October, they have eight league meets,” Hinds said. “It will be the first real speed meet held here since the 1980s.”
For more information, contact Jordan or Angie Hinds at Roller World at (918) 343-3866 or at 950 W. 4th St. in Claremore.