By Leslee Marie White
It’s been called the fastest growing female sport in America and it’s right here in Nashville. Our very own Nashville Rollergirls (NRG) are currently skating in their 11th season and rolling to the top of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rankings.
Forty ladies are divided into two teams: the Music City All-stars, the charter team who travels nationwide to compete against other high-ranking teams as well as taking part in the regional and divisional playoffs and the Music City Brawl Stars; the “B team” that consists of skaters that travel the Southeast and Midwest competing against other up and coming teams.
The NRG’s were founded in 2006 and became members of WFTDA in 2008. They are currently ranked 55th out of 392 teams. The All-stars have taken part in the international championships in 2010, 2011, and 2015.
The NRGs call themselves a family-friendly, community-minded, and service-oriented organization. While being a 501(c)(3) organization, they still find time to devote to charity work.
Each season the NRGs partner with charitable organizations to volunteer and offer financial support by donating a portion of their ticket sales from each bout. This season they’ve partnered with Music City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Oasis Center, Nashville Cares and Thistle Farms.
While the Rollergirls are fiercely dedicated to their charitable interests, they are just as intensely dedicated to their sport and their team. When posed the question “what does derby mean to you?”, Deathalopod says, “It means so many things. Strength. Confidence. The ability to not just occupy a space but to OWN it. To not be afraid of failure because you learn to fail over and over again until you succeed in an awesome and empowering way.”
Aside from working and playing hard together, they also have fun and develop skills that transfer into everyday life as well. Through training, they help empower the ladies by promoting skills such as communication, leadership, mediation and organization. Electra Cal, skater, coach, and mom of five, has been with the team since 2009. She attended Belmont University to get a degree to become an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified physiologist with the goal to help the team become stronger.
Through her education she has been able to implement strength training and dynamic warm-ups to help minimize injuries and help the ladies come back to the track faster.
Fracking Toast Her, league president says, “Playing derby and being a part of this team in particular has challenged me in ways I didn’t think possible. Not just the physical challenge of skating and cross-training but the emotional challenges that come with learning how to be a good teammate.”
You can catch the Rollergirls at the Sports Arena located at the Nashville Fairgrounds for their remaining regular season bouts on July 8 and August 5. Doors open at 5 pm with the Brawl Stars starting at 5:30 pm and the All-stars at 7:15 pm. They will also be hosting the 3rd Annual Hit It and Quidditch, a Harry Potter themed roller derby bout that helps raise funds for the NRGs next season.
The double header will be on Oct. 21 with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. followed by two games. The first game is at 5:30 pitting long- standing rivals Slytherin against Hufflepuff and the second game is at 7:30 where Gryffindor will take on Ravenclaw!
The tournament will be held at The Fairgrounds Nashville campus of Hogwarts. Skaters such as Harry Slaughter, Hermione Danger, Dumblegore, Drew Blood Prince, among others will be sorted into House Teams by a very special sorting hat ceremony that will begin at 5:20 p.m.
Fans will have the opportunity to buy spells to affect gameplay and also earn house points for their cheering sections.
There will be a costume contest as well as other fun Harry Potter surprises.
Earn points for your team by dressing in costume or sporting NRG swag!
Tickets for all NRG events are available through nashvillerollergirls.com.