Saturday, April 3, 2010

Derby: Where the d-bags aren't

As roller derby grew from a grassroots hobby to an official sport, WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association) was born. Complete with rankings and national tournaments, WFTDA is the centralized entity that ensures partnership among derby leagues nationwide. The association, which was founded in April of 2004 as the United Leagues Committee (ULC), "promotes and fosters the sport of women's flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues." In keeping with the themes of empowerment, independence, and assertiveness that are so synonymous with roller derby, WFTDA leagues operate under the motto "by the skaters, for the skaters." That's exactly what makes roller derby such an awesome sport!
Speaking of awesome, today at Roller Derby practice, we had guest skaters from the Arch Rival Roller Girls (ARRG). Founded in 2005, the Arch Rival Roller Girls have become a St. Louis local "must see" in their 4 seasons, drawing up to 1000 fans to their bouts (games) at All American Sports Mall. Their website mentions their ever growing fanbase that includes tastemakers, movers and shakers, kids, grandmas, punkrockers, and even Mayor Francis Slay has been spotted at an ARRG event or two. The local league is comprised of 3 teams: The M-80s, The Stunt Devils and The Smashinistas, who compete about once a month, often pitting best friends, neighbors or co-workers against each either other both on and off the track. Joanie Rollmoan, from the M-80's team; Domme E. Nation, of the Stunt Devils; and Ginny Beastley, from the Smashinistas team, along with Jeerleader, Lipstick Lezgo joined us. They drove up to skate with us and provide us "pointers". We worked on rotation and blocking, as well as plow stops (which can be extremely useful in blocking & slowing the pack down). They are the awesomest derby girls, who we all hope to someday be like! Be sure to check 'em out at
After practice, we had a BBQ/Potluck over at Jo's house so we could continue "learning" from the ARRG skaters. Even with the rain and hail (yes, hail) it was good food and good company. A big shout out to Jo (& Alex) for opening their home to us and being such great hosts. Someone mentioned that we should start the Twin City Derby Girls Catering Company. Great, that can be my next career! It can be my new start-up company and I'll be sure to share proceeds with the league. How "bout" that? If you are looking for a fabulous group of awesome, competitive, supportive, empowered, civic-minded women of all ages, come skate with the Twin City Derby Girls. I guarantee that one practice and you'll be hooked! And while I assure you that cancer sucks, I am grateful that it has brought the Derby Girls into my life. I'm not sure I would've taken the leap to join derby had it not been for the breast cancer. But I have and I'm so glad I did!

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