Roller Derby is a race-like sport that was invented and promoted in 1935 by Leo Seltzer. It began as a marathon in Chicago during which skaters tracked their miles by skating around and around an oval track. As marathoners collapsed of exhaustion, a medical team would come to examine and, if necessary, remove the individuals from the track. During periods of hard economic times, the promise of being paid to roller skate full-time was a powerful incentive and promoted intense bonds between teammates.
The development of roller derby is awe-inspiring and exciting; fans and players alike agree the sport is alive, real and it is wildly excellent.
Why? Is it a joke? I think not.
Is it a sport? Of course!
Is it vibrating with the illumination of hundreds of sweaty, strong, independent and ferocious women swirling rapidly around in a circle and thinking nothing of elbowing one another out of the way to score a point?
Many states have their own Roller Derby teams and huge masses of fans to applaud and cry with them.
Kansas City Bomber, which came out in 1972, and, more recently, Whip It, are two of the most famous movies about this incredible sport and lifestyle.
The following link will take you to the home of Connecticut's team: http://www.ctrollerderby.com/ and for further information on the origins of roller derby, click here: http://www.baycitybombers.com/history.html
Roller Derby can be seen as liberating, empowering, competitive and even dangerous, but mostly, it is just plain old-fashioned fun.
Aimee Boyle lives on the shoreline of CT. She wants to go check out some live roller derby action with her family. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.