Miriam Hill: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
A founding member of the Gainesville Roller Rebels (GRR) roller derby league, Miriam Hill has worked hard since January 2008 to bring a new dimension to the Gainesville sports community. League president since 2010, Miriam has seen the team through struggling to find practice space and learn the rules of the game to its current status as a team poised to gain membership in the national roller derby association. Miriam’s efforts in shaping the league have resulted in opportunities for countless women to experience newfound empowerment and athleticism. Under Miriam’s leadership, the team has also participated in mentoring programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida and Girl’s Place, helping build confidence and teach sportsmanship to young women.
About Miriam Hill
Occupation: Contract Negotiator, UF College of Medicine
Years in Gainesville: 17
Spouse: Dana Hill
In addition to working full-time at UF, Miriam spends almost as many hours contributing to GRR, spending most evenings practicing at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. Weekends are often spent playing in bouts–both here in Gainesville at Skate Station Funworks and across the South–or fundraising for the team. But Miriam’s responsibilities don’t stop there. As league president, she is also in charge of a myriad of other duties that go along with running a non-profit organization, such as negotiating contracts, finding sponsors, and most recently, ensuring that GRR successfully completes an apprentice program with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). WFTDA membership is a huge step for a derby team, and will lead to more games against out-of-state teams and the opportunity to be ranked and participate in the national championships.
As Miriam continues to help GRR grow, so to will the number of skaters, referees, and volunteers–men and women–who will gain skills and confidence as a result of their participation. Miriam has also reached out to fledgling teams in Puerto Rico, where she grew up until coming to UF for college, sharing the knowledge she has gained in helping launch Gainesville’s first flat-track roller derby team.
Submitted by Christina Locke