Roller Derby catching on with a new generation in Syracuse
By Brandon Roth
Roller Derby teams practice at Black Mamba Skate Park in Shoppingtown Mall
Thu, 12 Jul 2012 17:45:50 GMT — If you think women's Roller Derby went out of style back in the 1970's, guess again. The sport is back and it??s more popular than ever.For the first time, Syracuse has its own girls?? Roller Derby teams.The Pink Dynamite and Green Blast practice at the Black Mamba Skate Park in Shoppingtown Mall.Black Mamba owner and team manager Johanna Irving says the girls, ages 8-18, practice two days a week.While old school Roller Derby was often scripted and staged, Irving says this new version of the sport is much different."There's a lot of rules, a lot of strategy involved. It's a very athletic sport. A lot of times people think it's fake like old school derby but this is very real," Irving says.Marella Whipple a student at CBA is one of the girls who has picked up the sport and she couldn't be happier with it."I think it's great. It is just a fun experience. I love it so much. These girls are like your sisters. They're like an extended family and it is really great," Whipple says.Like old school Roller Derby, girls on the Syracuse teams go by colorful nicknames like "Thumper" and "Sid-the-Kid."Irving says women's Roller Derby is becoming so popular, there is even talk of making it an Olympic sport."Around 2005 or 2006, it really had a rebirth. Since 2005, it has just exploded across the country," Irving says.
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