On a Roll!

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Rachel Doak is a veteran member of a team called The Tragic City Rollers, the girls of the new roller derby, a sport still growing in popularity. So, Rachel and some of her teammates decided they needed to expand the sport by bringing on younger rollers, which leads us to The Steel City Slayers and Junior Roller Derby.

“Me and several other skaters in 2017 decided to start a Junior League,” remembers Rachel. “Huntsville already had one. Several teams in the Southeast had one and in 2018 we had our first practice. There are leagues in Huntsville, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa just started a league as well.”

The World Games have come and gone from our state, but here’s a suggestion for a sport they might want to add the next time they come around. How about roller derby?

“I joined back in the beginning of March, and I’ve been welcomed onto the team, and it’s been super great, and everyone’s been really nice to me, and it’s been very welcoming,” explains Eli Baay, also known as Lightning Thief. “And they’ve taught me everything. Like I could not skate when I first started out at all, so they’ve taught me pretty much everything I know.”

And in Roller Derby and you get to take on a whole new personality.

“We’re a full contact sport but add some silly into it and which is how Roller Derby started so you come up with funny names,” explains Rachel.

So, we met Daisy “Day Tripper” Northern. “I didn’t know any of the rules or anything. I just knew it looked fun and I wanted to skate. It’s a good way to get your aggression out sometimes. You just hit people. It’s fun.”

And Derby Moms are part of the sport as well. Rikki Gard is here with daughter Mo, also known as Rainbow Dash. “It’s the least expensive sport that either of my kids has ever been involved in. Once you have the gear which could last forever, the fees are so small it’s literally less expensive than the skating time they get each month, and the kids and coaches are just amazing. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Roller Derby really is a sport for anyone, and everyone says Rachel, “We recently went co-ed because most Junior Roller Derby Leagues have gone co-ed. If anyone out there wants to do it, we want them to have a place. You don’t have to know how to skate. You don’t have to ever have been an athlete. You can come and fall in love with it and then learn that you are an athlete.”


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Fred Hunter

Fred Hunter

WBRC First Alert Meteorologist Fred Hunter was born in Alabama in the historic town of Ft. Payne. He has lived, attended school, raised his family and worked in the South all his life.