Roller derby is a fast-growing sport with new leagues popping up continually across the world. Within the last few months, three new leagues have formed in the state of Wyoming: The Big Horn Banshees in Powell; The Bittersweet Bombshells in Rock Springs; and the Buffalo Bill's Derby Darlins of Cody, Wyoming.
These leagues have made contacts with many others in the derby community throughout the state (and even across the border) that can offer advice and tips to the newly formed leagues. The Buffalo Bill's Derby Darlins are currently hard at work finding a firm venue for their 2014 season as well as being in full recruitment mode for their women's, men's, and junior's leagues. April Holman, one of the organizers behind the league, states, "For us it is about people first, community and helping our community."
The beginnings of creating a league can be quite challenging, as Windy Michelle from the Big Horn Banshees talks about the differences between skating on an established league and starting one of her own, "I had played roller derby before but never on a competing team and never in any kind of official position. I realized quickly that it was going to take a lot of research, hard work and determination."
“It is truly like owning a business,” states Cara Kelsey of the Bittersweet Bombshells. “Thankfully our root group of girls have been very proactive and supportive.” The Bombshells formed in April when Cara and Miranda Riggs, both former Naughty Pines Derby Dames skaters, graduated college and moved back to their hometown, Rock Springs. Missing the sport they had grown to love, they formed the Bittersweet Bombshells, which has acquired 16 league members to date. “It is also a challenge to convince people to commit and join. Gear can be expensive and Roller Derby is not a very common sport” explains Cara.
Another difficulty newly formed leagues commonly face is finding an adequate practice facility. April Holman of the Buffalo Bill’s Derby Darlins details her leagues struggle with this very issue. “The hardest thing has been trying to find a year around place to practice and play,” and adds that the league is hopeful about a possible facility that may confirm within the next week.
Derby is spreading quickly to new towns and the rest of Wyoming is anxious to see what becomes of these newly formed leagues. Best of luck to all these hard working ladies (and gentleman) who are striving hard for a sport we all hold so dear.
If you live in these areas and are interested in skating, becoming a referee, non-skating official, fan, or would like to contribute to these leagues, you can contact them at the information posted below.