Keweenaw Path Fundraiser 2016

On Saturday, May 14th, individuals from all over our community made their way to Copper Harbor, MI for the 12th Annual Keweenaw Path Fundraiser. Keweenaw Path was started in order to raise funds and awareness for our local shelter which benefits those who have been affected by domestic violence.

Participants started their journey from all over the peninsula. Some biked from Houghton, some walked the entire length of the road that climbs and descends Brockway Mountain, and others ran and roller skated from Esrey Park along the lakeshore, all to join together in festivities at the Copper Harbor Community Center.

Keweenaw Peninsula Land

When everyone in the Keweenaw woke up on Saturday morning it was hovering around 30 degrees. The wind was taunting and a light dusting of snow attempted to intimidate those who were to be outside for the day. We’re Yoopers though, and born here or not, we’re resilient and prepared, it’s a part of the living.

We bundled in more protective gear that usual and we set off for what was to be a beautiful day. Mittens covering our wrist guards, and knit hats stuffed under our helmets we made our way along M-26 followed by a cool gal in a Chevy El Camino with a sign hanging off the back that read: CAUTION: Skaters Ahead!

KRG Keweenath Path 2016
Within a few strides we heated right up, the snow flurries looked no more intimidating than the down of a duck and the roaring waves of Lake Superior became our soundtrack for the next 9 miles.

We are so very fortunate to live in a place this beautiful and to be able to act to benefit our community in ways like this.  The Keweenaw is home to compassionate people and a community ethic second to none. Since its beginning Keweenaw Path has raised thousands of dollars for the shelter through the efforts of participants, organizers, and donations. Here’s to another successful year!

If you would like to donate – please make all checks payable to the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter and mail payment to:

Keweenaw Path Fundraiser

PO Box 164, Copper Harbor, Michigan, 49918

Yooper on Yooper Derby – KRG vs Dead River Derby – Saturday May 7th


Who can resist the siren call of roller derby? Join us on Saturday, May 7 for some fast-paced, hard-hitting, yooper on yooper roller derby action when KRG goes up against Marquette’s Dead River Derby!

Doors open at 5pm
First whistle at 6pm
Tickets $5, Kids 10 and under free

Houghton County Arena
1500 Birch St.
Hancock, MI

There will be food, drinks (half price until first whistle), activities for the kiddos, and a half time event hosted by the folks from the Houghton MI Skatepark! Tickets are $5 at the door or online (

Already a die-hard derby fan? Check out our VIP Season passes!

Keweenaw Roller Girls vs Mid State Sisters of Skate April 23rd


The Keweenaw Roller Girls are ready to rise from the ashes (er, snow banks?) for our 2016 home opener! Join us on Saturday, April 23 for a fast-paced, hard-hitting roller derby bout against the Mid-State Sisters of Skate from Stevens Point!

Doors open at 5pm
First whistle at 6pm

Houghton County Arena
1500 Birch St.
Hancock, MI

There will be food from Habañeros Fresh Mexican Kitchen, drinks (half price until first whistle), activities for the kiddos, and a half time event hosted by the folks from the Houghton MI Skatepark! Tickets are $5 at the door or online.

Already a die-hard derby fan? Check out our VIP Season passes! Perks include merch credit and half priced drinks all night!

Be sure to join KRG and MSSOS at Bills B&B for the after party!

#keweenawrollergirls #butts2bouts

Hittin’ the Road

Hittin' the road

Boy, the season really sneaks up fast. I feel like we wait all winter to get back on skates, and then the next thing you know we’re getting ready for season openers and travel games. We’ve been busy indoctrinating our newest skaters to bruises and rules intricacies in preparation for two tough games coming up for us. April 9th, we’ll pack our skates and head to Eau Claire, WI to play the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls; we’ve seen ’em, but we’ve never played ’em. Beyond the excitement of being our first game of 2016, we’ll have first-time bouting skaters on KRG’s roster, and it’s a Harry Potter themed double header! Hit it and Quidditch they call it. How fun is that?

Two weeks after that away game, KRG will be hosting our season opener on April 23rd at the Houghton County Arena. The Mid State Sister of Skate (MSSOS) will be making their way up from Steven’s Point, WI to play us in what will be an important, and very challenging bout. In this game we will be playing our WFTDA Apprentice League sponsor, they’ve helped us apply for apprenticeship within the WFTDA and have been immensely supportive in our growth as a league. We first met the MSSOS in September 2014 when we played their B Team, the Sweet Dairy Aires, and now we look forward to a heck of a game against their All Stars in just over one month. Wish us luck KRG fans and supporters as we embark on this exciting kick off to our third season here in the Keweenaw!

Don’t Break Your Uke

We asked our skaters if any of them would like to contribute to the Keweenaw Roller Girls blog. We received our first feature by the newly recruited, I Love Skatin’ #666. Here she write about karate, roller derby, and how to treat your “Uke.”

don't break your uke


When I was 28, with no previous experience, I joined a karate dojo. Long story short, it wasn’t easy.

When I was 35, with no previous experience, I joined a roller derby league. It was also not easy.

Being not a particularly athletic person with few experiences on which to draw, my roller derby journey is evoking many memories of when I began my martial arts training. One idea that especially resonates is the notion of the uke when sparring or training in karate.

In Japanese, an uke (pronounced oo-kee) can be referring to one of two things. First an uke is a stone for sharpening a sword. Second, it is the title of one’s opponent when practicing sparring or martial arts techniques. Sensei taught that one should interact with one’s uke as if they are the stone used to hone the sword of one’s technique. If one is too rough or careless with one’s uke, you can break it. Go too easy on your uke, and your sword will not be as sharp as it could be.

Unlike the relationship the blade has with the stone, the uke learns from and is shaped by their interactions with their training partners. It is not a passive position. Inherit in this idea of the uke is the notion of respect. Sure, a big sword could probably chop a sharpening stone in half… but aside from one singular display of might, there is no future value in that. In karate training, we need to respect our partners, our ukes, and not get so carried away that we seriously injure them.

We as derby skaters also need to approach our training with the idea of the uke in mind. Train hard, skate hard, hit hard… but not so hard that you break your fellow skaters on purpose (always understanding, of course, that accidents happen in contact sports). As a heavy-weight skater, it’s very convenient for me to throw my weight around, sometimes not being as mindful of the well-being of others on the track as I could be.

Next time you catch me, #666, being disrespectful of my ukes, please let me have it and say  “Hey Skatin’, don’t break your uke!”


-I Love Skatin’