Roller derby has been around since the 1920s, but the sport has been experiencing a resurgence recently, with new leagues and teams hitting rinks all over the United States. In 2004, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association formed to promote the sport, and you know BUST has written about roller derby many a time. Other media outlets like CNN have also been giving these ladies some love lately.
I’m not a derby chick myself, but have a lot of respect for their extraordinary athleticism, skill, and toughness. Derby girls come in all sorts of healthy shapes and sizes, too! I’m also intrigued by roller derby because… well… what other sport lets you don fishnets if you want and change your name to something like Skid Ho? Gotham Girls Roller Derby league in New York describes it like this: ‘Every Gotham Girl is an amalgam of athlete, pin-up girl, rocker and brute rolled into one badass derby girl. Pretty? Hell, yeah! Tough? Of course! Badass? Always!’
If you’re in New York and want to get in on the action, Gotham Girls is hosting its next bout on June 13 at the Hunter College Sportsplex, where the Queens of Pain take on Manhattan Mayhem.
To become a Gotham Girl yourself, you should be at least 18 and have basic skating down, plus plenty of endurance. You can find info about Gotham Girls try-outs (usually held in December) on their Web site, where you can also check out upcoming events, and learn how roller derby works. Etsy has a rockin’ article on the Gotham Girls and the role of fashion in roller derby. Outside New York, google your local league, or peruse the WFTDA member list . You can also follow the WFTDA on Twitter .
I’d love to hear from some real derby girls about their experiences and what they love about roller derby! Get those comments rollin’!–Jax
Photo courtesy of Joe Holmes, via Flickr