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Savannah’s junior roller derby welcomes new skaters

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 2:44 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Roller Derby may conjure images of the old WWE-style skating brawls, but a group in Savannah is trying to stamp out that stigma and empower young women.

When it comes to making a debut, there are debutantes and DerbyTaunts.

“It makes you feel a certain type of way I guess you could say,” Coach Felicia Gibson said.

Savannah’s Junior DerbyTaunts are a little sister league to the Savannah Derby Devils and have been around for a decade. The younger version is always looking for new skaters.

“My fourth grade teacher was actually on the adult league in the Derby Devils and she was encouraging girls to join the Junior League because she used to coach a lot,” said 13-year-old Delaney Schomburg.

Every Tuesday in January from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., girls ages eight to 17 are invited to put on skates and go for a spin during the league’s open enrollment nights at Starcastle, located at 550 Mall Blvd. in Savannah.

“We provide skate gear and instruction, just a chance to get out on skates and see how they like it,” Gibson said.

All you need to bring is water and a mouth guard.

“We teach the new skaters how to skate and how to do stops and how to fall,” 13-year-old skater Catherine Kristoff said.

In addition to their skating, roller derby gives the girls a chance to express themselves. The roster features names like “Catastrophe,” “Midnight Dreary,” and “Dizknee Villian.”

“I am a Disney geek,” said Schomburg (aka Dizknee Villian). “I love Disney so much so I thought that would be a good name.”

Roller derby may be a physical sport but the girls says it’s also about friendship.

“It just feels like family,” Kristoff (aka Catastrophe) said.

“You can make lifelong connections; best friends,” Gibson (aka Coach Midnight Dreary) said.

For more information about the Savannah DerbyTaunts, check them out on Facebook or email them at savannahjuniorderby@gmail.com.

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