Pensacola, Florida
Monday June 26th 2017


Get It Girls

Pensacolas Roller Derby League Takes on One Task at a Time
By Hana Frenette

The women at Pensacola Roller Derby arent just skating around scantily clad and heavily made up trying to knock each other down. These women are giving back to the communityone car wash and Jello-wrestling match at a time.

Its very rewarding in the end, said Kathy Davis, the leagues president. Its like a second family the way the girls all come together.

Pensacola Roller Derby donates at least 15 percent of their profits from car washes and community barbeques to the local Veterans Association.

We do try to give back to the community, Davis said.

When Pensacola Roller Derby isnt hosting a community event, they are busy recruiting people for the league.

Its always hard getting the word out when you dont have a lot of money for PR, Davis explained. Recruitment is one of the biggest things.

Right now, Pensacola Roller Derby only has about six to eight women skating for them, which means they cant have bouts, or matches, because they dont have enough league members.

Once we get enough girls, there are a lot of teams we will be able to play, like Santa Rosa and Panama City, Davis said.

You dont have to know how to skate, but because things can get rough, you do have to be at least 18 years old.

We have girls from 18-32 years old, Davis added. Any woman who wants to skate can do so.

For those who want to join, but have no experience, be rest assured that the coach, as well as the other girls, will teach you everything you need to know.

Our coach is Lil Bob, Davis said. Hes a biker guy, but hes good on skates.

Pensacola Roller Derby will be holding open skates at Dreamland on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., and anyone is welcome to come and skate, or just meet the girls and talk about the league.

We dont have tryouts, Davis continued. We definitely encourage girls to come down and talk to us first, because some people feel it can be intimidating.

Although the spirit of sisterhood is strong in roller derby, so is the spirit of knocking other girls out.

Some girls are a lot more hardcore, Davis said. Some girls get thrown out of the rink for fightingit can get pretty rough.

Roller derby has a reputation for getting rowdy, but its not a requirement and many games go on without a fight.

Its not staged, its real, Davis explained. People think its like wrestling, but its not. A lot of times the games are very civil.

The Pensacola Roller Derby League will be hosting a car wash at OReillys Auto Parts on Ninth Avenue to garner support and recruit members.

Roller derby has seen a spike in interest over the past 10 years, and even in the past six months, thanks to the movie Whip It, starring Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore.

Its a good movie, Davis said. The movie definitely shows the spirit of derby.

Pensacola Roller Derby is recruiting members for the league, but theyre also recruiting referees and cheerleaders, which can be male or female.

Some people come down and watch us play and really love it, but they dont think theyre cut out for it, so they become cheerleaders for us instead, Davis said. Skating is like riding a bikeit can be fun, but it can also end up kicking your butt.

WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10
WHERE: OReillys Auto Parts, 6511 N. Ninth Ave.
COST: Free