Wild Women on Wheels Bring Roller Derby Chaos to Albany! - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Wild Women on Wheels Bring Roller Derby Chaos to Albany!


The Albany All-Stars are now ready to rumble. Last night, the local roller derby league held its last practice before their first season kicks off this weekend.

That means the league joins the ranks of more than 150 others that have popped up across the country in recent years.

NEWS10's Jeff Stoecker shows us how the roller derby revolution is now making its way into the Capital Region.

These women on wheels are bringing pain and fury to the local area.

"Yeah, it hurts, but you just have to get back up and keep going," says a newcomer to the sport, dubbed "Haggis", of the team the Department of Public Hurts.

The origins of roller derby date back to the 1920's, but it's the ‘70's and ‘80's where the sport gained a following.

"Beirut Bombshell", also a member of the Department of Public Hurts says, "I remember in the ‘80's being in elementary school and watching it on TV. I've always been attracted to the kitsch, the weird glamour and the sparkly tights and stuff like that,"

So far there are two teams in the Albany All-Star Roller League: on the one hand, you have the previously mentioned Department of Public Hurts, then you've got the Skatomasochists - because "bad things come to those who skate". And if that's not intimidating enough, try on the names of some of league's skaters: "Dottie Damage", "Scarbucks" - these ladies mean business.

All the "newbies" are referred to as "fresh meat". Until they earn their roller derby names, like the menacing "Glamthrax" or dangerous "Lusty Crush", they're named after meat; just like "Haggis".

"The first time we were practicing blocks," says "Haggis", "I was laid out three times in a row, because obviously I'm new and I'm not so steady on my wheels all the time,"

Bruiser by night, "Haggis" is actually an English professor by day.

"We have skaters who are engineers, we have school librarians, we have lawyers. It runs the gamut," says "Beirut Bombshell".

While they may talk trash on their skates - as "Haggis" puts it, "Right now it's ‘the other team has cooties,'" - in the end, it's about the competition, the athleticism and the occasional knocking someone on their can.

"We don't want anyone to get really hurt ... Maybe just a little bruise here and there," closes "Haggis".

You can watch the roller derby girls in action this Saturday at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany - it all gets underway at 6:00p.m.

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