The Bay Area Derby (B.A.D.) Girls ignites a roller derby revolution through competitive bouts and communal endeavors performed on a local scale.
“The Bay Area Derby girls are an amazing group of women who have taught me how to be a part of a democratic system of radical ladies,” said Kimberly “Kimfectious” Wendt, a co-team captain of the San Francisco Shevil Dead.
“I have learned things like how to become a non-profit, how to change the bearings on my skates, and how to run an effective practice of twenty women on roller skates of different ages and abilities,” continued Wendt.
With roller derby now considered as one of the “fastest growing sport for women,” according to the B.A.D. website, the sport has gained much momentum and popularity throughout America.
As their admiration persisted for rapidly growing leagues in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles, in 2004 the B.A.D. Girls established one of the first women’s flat track roller derby leagues in California.
They are also a founding member of the official governing body for modern roller derby, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), as reported on the B.A.D. website.
Since their establishment in 2004, the B.A.D. Girls has received national attention as they have competed in the WFTDA Western Regional tournament every year, earned their way to the WFTDA National Championships three-times and have ranked as high as third in the WFTDA Western Regionals, the B.A.D. website confirmed.
In addition to national prestige, the B.A.D. Girls have taken the passion and dedication expressed on the track and has used it as a driving force to bring positive change to many Bay Area communities.
Through their operation as a non-profit grassroots organization, the B.A.D. Girls are heavily involved in community affairs, such as the San Francisco PRIDE Parade, the Piedmont Forth of July Parade and the Beats 4 Boobs breast cancer fundraiser.
“I was instantly in love with this [league] the moment I saw it, and continue to be inspired by the women who play [in] it,” said Sarah “Psychoserapissed” Post, a current player of the Berkeley Resistance. “I see greatness everyday in the woman I skate with and who represent our league.”
Although the B.A.D. Girls league has brought the sport of roller derby back to a level of prominence, some players are still eager for the sport to be recognized as such.
“I feel the one thing I’d like to change is to have our sport even more recognized for what it is, a sport!” she said emphatically.
“The Bay Area is filled with amazing people and some of them are our fans whom we love. Having even more fans come out to support us, cheer for us and have fun with us would be a pretty good thing in my eyes. So what are you waiting for?” Post added.
“Roller derby continues to grow as a sport, making our practices more challenging, and cross training has become more of a necessity than a suggestion,” said Wendt. “We continuously evolve, as the sport of roller derby evolves. We meet on a monthly basis to bring about new ideas and constantly adapt our league policies.”
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 2:58 pm.