Nashville Roller Girls
TAKING NASHVILLE BY STORM SINCE 2006
NASHVILLE SINCE 2006.
Roller derby has been around since the 1930s, but it’s experiencing a fierce renaissance. Just ask the Nashville Rollergirls, who’ve been in Music City since 2006. The sixty players, referees, and volunteers that make up Music City’s Women’s Flat Track Derby Association team are taking the town by storm. You can catch their home games at the Nashville Fairgrounds or when they’re away, all over the country. They’re dedicated to serving the community, and they have a charity that they donate to for each home game.
Unlike most sports teams, the Rollergirls are a self-governed and self-funded team, which puts both the control and the responsibility in their hands. From training to games, being a Rollergirl takes incredible dedication. The team travels for games and tournaments, on top of the time at home training and practicing. It can also be expensive, from uniforms and team gear to skates and new wheels.
Though it’s incredibly demanding, it’s also accessible. “This is probably one of the few sports out there where people can just get off their couch and go join a professional sports league,” Terror Masseuse says. “Not that it’s easy. But it is possible. And just about all of us have done it.” If you’re not familiar (or haven’t seen Whip It), Rollergirls have incredibly fun performer names. There’s tradition behind the names, often combined with a personal touch; Terror Masseuse, for instance, is a massage therapist when she’s not in skates. Playful fierceness channels in names like Toxic Moxie or Nancy Drew Blood.
To join the team, each member goes through an initial training, then graduates to the Brawl Stars and eventually the All Stars divisions. “I hadn’t strapped skates on my feet in 15 years when I decided to do it,” Terror says. “It’s definitely possible.”
“We’re all about empowering women in athletic pursuits,” continues Terror, who joined the Nashville Rollergirls about a year ago. The women of roller derby are tough, as evinced by the impressive bruises on Duncan GoNutz’s arms. Many of them are single parents, and new members quickly find a family among the Rollergirls. Terror even met her partner playing roller derby.
“It’s definitely a big family,” Terror says. It’s a family that has each others’ back, building confidence along the way. “Ask anyone on the team and they will tell you this whole story about how this helped them in the rest of their life,” Terror says. “I feel like a lot of us find it in kind of a transitional time in our life. It helps us through.”
Learn more on their website here.
The Rollergirls are seeking a new practice space for 2018 when the Fairgrounds become unavailable. Check out their GoFundMe here.
Follow them @nashvillerollergirls