The Gold Coast Derby Grrls have been hell on wheels since 2007. Back then, they were known as the Broward County Derby Grrls. In their first season, they played a total of 13 bouts; almost unheard of for a new team. By their second season, they placed third at the Sunshine Skate and were bringing in teams from all over the country to bout in South Florida.
“As our numbers grew, we realized that we had outgrown our name. BCDG opened up our thrid season as the Gold Coast Derby Grrls (GCDG). GCDG is now composed of skaters from Broward, Miami-Dade, and the Palm Beaches. GCDG became a Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) league in March 2011. In our first year, we placed at the Regional WFTDA competition,” said Amy Lowe, public relations director of Gold Coast Derby Grrls.
Given the team’s reputation, you’d think one would have to be a pro to join, but guess again. Any woman over 18 is eligible. You don’t even need to know how to skate. The team will teach you everything you need to know. Men can join the South Florida Men’s Derby. Gold Coast Derby Grrls is always looking for skaters and volunteers. There are lots of volunteer jobs such as non-skating officials to keep track of penalties, scores and other stats.
Anyone who’s ever seen roller derby played in person or on TV has to worry about injuries. It is a full contact sport, and participants may get hurt.
“Bumps, bruises, and scrapes are fairly universal, and many derby girls look on them as badges of honor. More serious injuries can include broken limbs and tailbones, separated shoulders, and ligament tears, particularly in the knees,” Lowe said.
Gold Coast Derby Grrls have been without a permanent home since August 2011 when the Gold Coast Roller Rink closed. The team is currently skating at outdoor rinks around Fort Lauderdale.
“We have set up a “Go Fund Me” page on our Facebook page. We are trying to raise enough money to buy an airplane hangar or warehouse,” Lowe said.
Between May 2and 4, the Gold Coast Derby Grrls will proudly host Beach Brawl 2014, a fully sanctioned Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) international tournament. Twenty-Four domestic and international roller derby teams will be participating in the record-breaking event, which will be held at the Broward County Convention Center. Live attendance is expected to reach into the thousands and will target people of all ages making for a most diverse audience of all ages.
Tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com/event/565953