By James Hollins G4R Entertainment
Roller Derby is alive and well! Once the hottest sport in the 70's it is quietly making an underground resurgence in numerous cities across the US. Before social media and cable TV many Americans tuned in every Saturday night to watch this high impact entertaining sport. I was too young to remember any players but do recall watching with my dad a few times as these female gladiators dished out the pain in gritty competition. Its like WWE on roller skates.
Roller Derby origins date back to late 1800's and has made an impact over last century. In 1935 a structured event in Chicago was created where teams of 2 had to skate an oval circle over 11hrs per day.. crazy but groundwork was laid for birth of sport. Later in 1948 CBS aired first live viewing in New York. Few had TV sets and had to watch in bars or storefronts. A year later 55,000 gathered at Madison Square Garden to watch a 5-day event. In the 60's it was switched to video tape format for better quality.. visually and technically.
Fast forward to now and sport is still thriving. Thanks to friend Lorean Celeste I've been reunited with sport and look forward to following it. She's in a league and we recently caught up with her for one of our infamous '5 question interviews'. Here we go!..
G4R: What got you interested in Roller Derby and how long been participating?
Lorean Celeste (LR): I fell in love with derby 2006 when I saw a reality show named 'Rollergirls' that took place in Austin, TX. I've been a part of of the roller derby community for 5 years.
G4R: Who is your fave player/ idol?
LR: My favorite skater is, there are too many to name from Juniors, Female, and Male teams. I have so much respect and love for anyone who laces up skates and is on the track.
G4R: When not on the rink what is your fave hobby?
LR: When I'm not on the track I am gaming! PS4, Nintendo64, Xbox360 and a regular at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. [Ed. note: girl after our own heart haha]
G4R: What advice can you give anyone looking to follow this path?
LR: You got this! Roller Derby is for everyone. No matter your age, shape, gender or color. Anyone can play roller derby! Its empowering and cheaper than therapy. An amazing outlet and you get to hit your friends who become family!
G4R: How can people find league, is there a link or page where they can follow?
LR: I skate with River City Rebels out of San Antonio, TX. We are a co-ed and female team. You can find us on Facebook or Instagram @ RiverCityRebelsrcrd.
That's a wrap people special thanks to Celeste for taking time out to chat with us. Prayers to families in Houston, TX and neighboring communities God speed to all. If need a little uplifting and able to check out this venue tomorrow tell em G4R sent you. While researching topic I came across a few FB friends who enjoy sport in their local communities too. Will be sure to send article their way.
Ed note: Feedback from research has yielded a few requests to do follow up featuring other cities and teams.