Balsam Mountain Roller Girls

Haywood county's first womens flat track roller derby team located in Waynesville, Western North Carolina

Derby Start-Up

Roller Derby, which has been described as a mix between hockey and football on quad skates, has been around since the 1930’s
and initially began as roller skating races. The sport which was popular for 40 years dwindled in the 70’s but
was revived again in 2000 when Texas Derby Teams started establishing player owned and operated organizations. Today, Roller Derby
is America’s fastest growing sport.
JoLynn Bryant, 43, along with other local moms, is looking to start a flat track roller derby league in Western North
Carolina. “I saw a bout a couple of years ago and immediately feel in love with the energy of the sport. I told my husband
right then that I was putting ‘roller derby girl’ on my bucket list. I never dreamed it might actually come true! I didn’t even skating back then.” Bryant says.
One of the main requirements to become a recognized WFTDA League is a team of ten women who practice at least 2 hours a week.
Bryant believes they can do even better than that. Her goal is 20 women so two teams of ten can bout each other in practice. The popularity of the sport is
growing resulting in leagues sprouting up everywhere. The Blue Ridge Roller Girls, a widely recognized team from Asheville, has recently been granted a
WFTDA Apprenticeship after 5 years and Bryson City has a new team, The Smoky Mountain Roller Girls, which has formed in just the last two months.
Casey Queen, a 31-year-old Dillsboro resident, is looking forward to joining the new league. She said that she’s never
played before but she’s always loved skating and thought she would enjoy it, the exercise and the networking.
We are looking for ladies 18 and over who are ready to rock! You do not have to be a professional skater. We need women of all shapes, sizes and skill levels
who are ready to get involved is something exciting, meet new friends, get some great exercise and have fun.
The group is holding their first meeting at Smoky Mountain Sk8way, located at 19025 Great Smoky Mountain Expressway(HWY 24/74) next
to the Waynesville Cycle Center, on Wednesday, Sept 28th at 7 pm. This will be an introduction to the sport ending with an open skate.
“We want anyone and everyone who might be interested to come find out more about roller derby,” Bryant said. “You know, a lot of the
best roller girls never skated before they started derby.”
If you’re not sure about skating there’s still lots of room for you! Men and women 18 and over may join in a variety of roles
including referees, coaches, bout production, photographer,and general help. Anyone of any age can help support the team
through promoting, fundraising, sponsoring, cheerleading and attending events and matches.
Please call 828-246-9124 if you have any questions

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