Little City Roller Girls Making an Impact On and Off the Track


Bristol Skateway provides a great home for the Tri-Cities roller derby team

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) The Little City Roller Girls are trying to make a name for themselves, a team that competes in roller derby year round.

The sport is essentially “football on skates,” which means there’s plenty of high-impact and fast-pace action. Despite so much movement, the sport lacks in popularity and its puzzling for the Little City members.

“I really don’t know the answer to that, I feel like it should be, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world, but I feel like it should be much bigger than it is,” head coach Jacob Vitums said.

Member and trainer Rebecca Smith has her own theory.

“Because it’s so unfamiliar and you come and you watch and you’re like ‘why’d that person pass or why did that person go out, why did they go back in too,'” Smith said. “You almost have to have somebody sitting on the sidelines kind of telling you about it.”

This sport has made changes over the last half-century and the members know some people might not be used to it.

“It’s not your grandmas roller derby,” member and personal relations handler Shauna Boggs said.

“It’s not like that now, it’s a true sport you take seriously and you’re really trying to get your points and you’re trying to do it legally,” Smith said.

Aside from the action on the track, the woman look to motivate fans off it.

“I really enjoy the women’s empowerment of like a lot of these people are mothers and wives,” Vitums said.

Most of these woman work full-time jobs on top of practicing twice a week at their new facility at Bristol Skateway, but they wouldn’t miss a chance to do what they love.

“This is my outlet, I have a high stress job, so I can come here and hit people and not get in trouble for hitting people,” Smith said.

“We love it, we love coming here and hitting each other, is that crazy,” Boggs laughed.

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