The three-minute interview: Mara Veraar of the DC Rollergirls

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People,Liz Essley

A Columbia Heights resident, Veraar runs online communications for a nonprofit. But her alter ego, Scarlet O'Snap, is a seven-year roller derby veteran. The league in which Veraar participates, the DC Rollergirls, formed in 2006, has 78 players and is trying to raise $25,000 for a permanent place to practice.

What do you like about roller derby?

I really like the physical aspect of being able to play a game and be in shape. And the other side of it is the social side, being able to be on a team and meet people I would normally never meet, to see them three or four times a week, and to get close bonds with people and a support system.

Tell me about your quest for practice space.

We practice in a garage in Rosslyn, at the SportsPlex in Dulles and Rockville, at the D.C. Armory. And all those places are really expensive. They also don't have a lot of time available for us. So it really comes down to the fact that we need a warehouse. There are several other leagues that have successfully gotten warehouses, so we're following their model. A warehouse would allow us to schedule regular practices when we need to and cut down on monthly costs so that we can become more sustainable.

Why do you think roller derby is taking off in the U.S.?

When we first started seven years ago, nobody had really heard of it. The first real wave of public attention was the movie "Whip It," which was really great for us. The bad part was it didn't really resemble anything like the derby as it is actually played. They did us a little bit of disservice with showing the violent side; most of the things they were doing in the movie would get you expelled for in a game.

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