July 18, 2014 - Article by Amanda Roberts of WPSD Local 6
Roller derby started all the way back in the 1930’s. In the 70’s it was a form of entertainment with women skating around in flashy outfits. The games already had predicted outcomes.
“Now it’s not that way at all. It's a growing sport and it should be recognized as such,” says West Kentucky Rockin’ Rollers member Stacey Mills.
Not until the 21st Century did roller derby get the recognition as a sport. The West Kentucky Rockin’ Rollers skate at Paducah’s Kingsway Skateland. Their league started in 2010.
The sport works like this… There are 5 members to a team. A jammer and 4 blockers. The jammer must skate past the other team’s blockers to score points for her team. The blockers try to take the jammer down.
The West Kentucky Rockin’ Rollers aren’t afraid of a few bumps and bruises. The ladies do have a softer side though. They claim the pushing and shoving has actually lead to some great friendships.
“The sisterhood really, getting to know everybody is fantastic. We have such a variety of women that play,” says Mills.
The Rockin’ Rollers also says it’s great exercise.
“You don’t have to be an athlete to do this. You will become an athlete, but you do not have to be one,” says the team’s co-president Jenny West. “You don’t have to be skinny, you don’t have to be tall, you don’t have to be short, you don’t have to be wide, you just have to be willing to put in the time and the effort that it takes.”
The team also donates to a variety of local charities.
The West Kentucky Rockin’ Rollers also have a junior league. Kids 17 and under can sign up to play. The kids have to sign an anti-bully promise before joining.