They’re fast! They’re fierce! They’re fun! And in the end, everything they do is for a good cause. Who are they? They are the Atlanta Rollergirls!
A flat-track all-female quad skate league, the Atlanta Rollergirls are part of the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) roller derby revival that began when a group in Texas began competing in 2001. The Atlanta league was founded in late 2004. They are almost 50 women strong, ranging in age from 21 to 40-something. The Atlanta Rollergirls strive for a crowd-pleasing mix of sport and spectacle; however, their competitions are not staged; the outcomes are not fixed; and their falls and spills are the real deal. The aggression in these games mirrors the aggression of a hockey game. To be successful at this sport, they know that they have to be willing to train hard and not be afraid of getting hurt if they fall down.
Now there are more than 20 active all-female skate leagues around the country. This new generation of assertive female athletes is reviving the hard-hitting bad-girl sport of eight-wheel roller derby that was popular from the 1930s through the ’70s. Today’s leagues are updating the sport with an edgier attitude and the addition of a few modern touches, like tattooed team members, sassy uniforms and cheeky penalties, creating a crowd-pleasing fierce competition that’s rougher and tougher than ever! This is not your Mama’s roller derby!
Portions of the proceeds from the Atlanta Rollergirls matches are donated to community causes, such as the East Atlanta Kids Club, a non-profit mentoring and enrichment program, dedicated to building a promising future for children ages 7 to 13 in East Atlanta.
For more information about the Atlanta Rollergirls, visit their website at www.atlantarollergirls.com.
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