Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020
AUGUSTA, GA -- Roller derby can attract a rowdy crowd for its hard hitting action. It turns out there's a softer side to the sport that many women turn to for empowerment.
"Every personality type, every body type, every everything is out here and you're never alone," said Little Red Biting Hood.
Since 2008, the Soul City Sirens have been the heart of Augusta's roller derby scene. A sport well known for its elbows and eyeliner, it has a softer side that caters to every competitor.
"As soon as I came in here everyone was so nice and welcoming. All of my worries instantly melted away and it was like I was family," said newcomer Gravity Brawls.
The roller chicks may be soft in the heart, but they're still very hard on the track.
"You never feel like a more powerful person than when you're knocking somebody else down. And you never get put in your place better than getting knocked down."
"It was a little intimidating I could not skate a lick. I think a baby deer on ice was more graceful than I was," said intermediate skater Goldie Racks.
One of the most inclusive sports, you find women of all shapes and sizes participating in roller derby. Many of these women have diverse backgrounds, yet somehow, they all gel together.
The competitors adopt alter egos and names for their rink personalities, but at the end of each practice and bout, it's all about embracing who you are. Roller derby is a personal journey where milestones and self discoveries often go hand-in-hand.
"It's amazing, just the overall empowerment of inclusion," added Red.
"It's babes supporting babes that just really want to build you up and want you to feel good about yourself not just in roller derby, but in life in general," Goldie Racks summarized.
While roller derby is a physical sport, it's biggest impact is the confidence that it brings to it's female competitors. The year round commitment may seem like a lot, but it's well worth it for the Sirens. There aren't many other organizations or sports that can bring women of so many backgrounds together the way that the derby does.
Originally, roller derby started as a co-ed sport. It's female dominated now, though men's leagues are starting to grow. The Sirens practice with males, some of whom play in men's leagues in Columbia. Other serve as referees for bouts.
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