Submitted By Laura Lefko aka ‘Tennessee Frisky’
As one of the fastest growing sports in the world, roller derby is a far cry from what most people remember seeing on television in the mid-20th century. Started in the 1930s, roller derby was more of a spectacle and side-show than a competitive sport, something akin to choreographed WWE wrestling matches.
However, this has not been the case in the last decade, as contemporary derby was resurrected in Austin, Texas in the early 2000s. This version, which is fast paced and relies on skill and strategy as opposed to histrionics, set the course for derby to grow in popularity over the last fifteen years. It has held on to mementos from the past though, with players skating under clever monikers and dressing in fun and personalized “boutfits”. So, while you may see names such as Kimikazzi and Shannybal Lecter on the track, the days of throwing elbows and starting fist fights are long gone.
With the clash between the world of sport and the fun of theatrics drawing renewed attention from sports fans, it is no surprise that countless leagues are now formed yearly across the globe. Roller derby has come roaring back to life and is alive and thriving here in Niagara!
The Niagara Roller Girls (NRG) is Niagara’s first, and only, all women, full-contact, flat-track roller derby league. Founded in 2012, NRG is a grassroots, volunteer-driven league with a “for the skater, by the skater” philosophy. This isn’t your average sports league. It’s focus is twofold: athleticism and community involvement. As a not-for-profit organization run solely by volunteers, NRG relies on the time and effort of its members and community. Members vary in age and skill, and come from all walks of life: from nurses to graphic designers, engineers to activists, students, teachers, and mothers alike. NRG prides itself in being involved in regional events and festivals such as Grape and Wine, as well as raising money for local charities during its games.
With its 2016 Season already underway, the Niagara Roller Girls boasts several teams made up of exemplary female athletes. The three home teams, travel team, and junior team are all training hard and looking forward to a bright and successful future as the league and sport continue to evolve.
You can get more information on their season schedules, as well as the local events they will be participating in, by visiting www.niagararollergirls.com. In the coming months, bouts are scheduled for May 7, May 28, June 11 and June 25 at the Haig Bowl Arena in St. Catharines. Whether you are a loyal fan or a new to the sport, bouts are family friendly and full of fun. So, if you are looking for some hard-hitting action in the Niagara region, look no further!
Interested in joining or volunteering as an official or referee? NRG offers training in our volunteer positions for those who don’t wish to skate but still want in on the action. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!