Offbeat Sports Part 3: Roller Derby Finds Niche in the Hub City - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Offbeat Sports Part 3: Roller Derby Finds Niche in the Hub City

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According to, women's flat track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in America.

In fact, reports roller sports were even under consideration for the 2020 Olympics until May of this year.

As promised, Part 3 of WHLT's series on offbeat sports looks at the emergence of roller derby right here in the Pine Belt.


For skaters like Derby Gibson and Bulletproof Barbie, roller derby offers a one of a kind thrill.

"Hitting is really fun," says third-year Southern Misfit Heather Cimino.

"I really like the competitiveness and just being able to let out aggression and just knock people down - you can't match that anywhere else really," says sixth-year Southern Misfit Mandy Jenkins.

Roller derby was brought to the Hub City in 2008, by a group of girls interested in taking names and kicking you know what.

But six seasons later, it is about much more than anger management for the Southern Misfits.

"It's not just hitting and beating up the other team," says Cimino. "There's strategy that goes into it, there's athleticism that goes into it, so I think it's more than what people think it is, and the stigma is wrong."

"There's so much that goes into that you can't get the whole gist of it after one bout," says Jenkins. "You really need to see - just continually watch, and the more you watch the more you love the sport."

So what exactly is so appealing about the sport of flat track?

Well it starts with two packs of five skating around the rink.

Each team designates a jammer, responsible for overtaking the other squad's blockers.

The jammers then earn points for each player they pass.

Next to the physicality of the sport, it is weaving in and out of traffic that makes roller derby so addictive.

"It's amazing," says Cimino. "It is amazing, that's all I can say."

"It feels like heaven," says Jenkins. "It feels amazing. I'm really going to miss it."


For more information about the Southern Misfits, you can visit their website at:

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