I loved roller skating growing up and used to hang out on Friday nights at the B&K Roller Rink in Salisbury, N.C. There were many great memories that transpired on that hardwood floor with a disco ball spinning in the dark. And one of my favorite movies of about the same era was Kansas City Bombers. Raquel Welch plays a roller derby skater called K.C. Carr and she fights all the dirty politics of this hard core sport in her desire for stardom. She was such a strong role model and remains one of my favorite actresses of all time.
I was excited to find out that Pittsburgh has their own Junior Roller Derby League that develops and empowers young women 10-17 years of age. Roller Derby is the fastest growing sport in America. It challenges players to be bold, confident and united through the strength, balance and strategic thinking of competitive roller derby. The sport is aggressive but focuses on talent and teamwork over brute strength to win. A player of any size can be a champion if they have the passion for it. Currently there are over 140 junior leagues across the United States and in Europe.
The Pittsburgh Derby Brats was established in February of 2013 and practice twice a week. They welcome all those who are interested. Many of the players have never been on skates before joining but are confidently flying around the rink in no time. Each member must train to develop levels of skills before they can participate in a competition but from day one each member is a part of the team. Results have been dramatic in many of the players: fitness, confidence, camaraderie and increase in academic focus. There are even scholarships for college.
Practices are normally held at the Neville Roller Drome on Thursdays 6:45-8:45 and Saturdays 10am-12pm. Parents and young women interested in the sport are welcome to come and visit practice. Check out their website http://www.PittsburghDerbyBrats.com to glean more info.