If You Can't Play Nice, Play With GRITS Roller Derby Girls
Written by Vicki Pickering
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Roller Derby Girl? Well, the truth is absolutely ANYONE can do it, “and I mean ANYONE,” emphasized Daisy Fever of GRITS (Girls Rolling in the South) Roller Derby based in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Fever said that GRITS is always looking for skaters, referees, staff and coaches.
The GRITS League got started when a friend of Fever’s contacted her asking if she wanted to help start a derby league in Cabot. Fever and a couple of friends decided to move forward with recruitment and started skating together in 2009. Then in March 2010, GRITS (Girls Rolling in the South) was officially formed with all its members.
According to Fever, the GRITS League has skaters from all walks of life including “factory workers, waitresses, fashion designers, stay at home moms, newspaper editors, bartenders, and bank tellers.” “You name it,” Fever said.
Although there’s no average age or experience requirement, GRITS Roller Derby only takes girls that are 18 and up, “but there’s no age limit on the UP,” Fever said. In addition, the league teaches the girls everything they need to know to be a derby girl. “Some girls we’ve had to even teach how to skate,” said Fever. “We teach falls, hits, blocks and everything else that comes with playing the game of roller derby.”
Fever said that one of her favorite parts of roller derby is “Knocking other girls down. Who wouldn’t love that? And then they jump up and say ‘good hit.’”
Fever also includes the family of friends she has made as one of her favorite things about derby stating that “there’s not one person on this league who I couldn’t call on for help.”
All derby girls use fictitious names, and Fever thinks the reason might be because it’s a way to be someone you normally can’t be. “I’m a dog groomer and mom by day, but I’m a derby girl by night,” Fever said. “My boys see me as kind of a super hero and other girls who normally seem shy and reserved are some of the more vicious ones I’ve seen on the track. It’s quite fun.”
The GRITS Derby girls practice every Monday and Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm at Skate World in Jacksonville: located at 521 North JP Wright Loop Road in Jacksonville, AR. If you are interested in checking them out, just show up or contact them at gritsrollerderby.com or through their Facebook page facebook.com/girlsrollinginthesouth or email at
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