Happy 8th Anniversary, Texas Rollergirls!

In their own words: Texas Rollergirls remember

April 27, 2003 is a red letter day in the history of modern roller derby – it’s the day the newly-formed Texas Rollergirls held our very first bout. A lot has changed in that time but one thing remains constant: a never-say-die attitude that’s seen the league grow and prosper locally, and become an inspiration for tens of thousands of roller derby skaters all over the world. Many of the skaters who laced up their skates and hit the track on that special day eight years ago remain active in the local, national and international roller derby community, and we asked some of them to share their memories of that very first game.

“I remember trying to plan the very first game ever … Most of the women who showed up to the Krispy Kreme are the same women who turned around a couple of years later and pulled out the first Texas Rollergirls game at Playland in April 2003. [For that game], we just played as team black, team purple, etc – we had to leave behind our identities as Hellcats or Holy Rollers and so forth [after the split from BGGW]. We knew the team names weren’t ours, but the clothes and identities were our own! We had only been practicing at Playland for a short time before we put on that game. The previous owner wouldn’t let us practice there, saying that we were just a bunch of girls who wanted to beat each other up on skates. We knew what we had to do and we banded together to make it happen. Failure was not an option!”
Hydra, #4 – Hotrod Honeys, Texecutioners (retired). Now with Texas Rollergirls Rec-n-Rollerderby

“Texas Rollergirls threw a bout within weeks after we split with the BGGW management. How? The people who created Texas Rollergirls were already doing most of the actual work, so they had the venue connections, beer connections, ticket connections and the marketing and merch connections … and the people who hadn’t done it before learned on the fly! Everyone looked around for what needed to be done and did it. Most of all, we had a huge fear of failure; and blood, sweat and lots of tears were invested in that game and this league being a success. We were guided by creativity and desire and self-education. I am so proud to be here eight years after that first Texas Rollergirls game with of you amazing, athletic, creative people!”
Lucille Brawl, #56 – Hotrod Honeys

“The mystique and newness of roller derby in 2003 is indescribable. The energy in Playland for that first Texas Rollergirls bout could have blown a fuse; and that was just from the skaters! The fans are what I remember the most. Familiar faces of friends and family were peppered around the room, but the unfamiliar faces were my favorite.
I was in the first jam of the night and I was ecstatic! I had only seen my team play once but I knew I was in good hands: with Pris as our captain and Hydra as the co-captain, what could go wrong? I had no idea what made a good jammer and when I asked what I was supposed to do, I was told ‘skate fast and go through the holes’.
The lack of athleticism, back then, was made up for with antics and audience participation, but our evolution into a sport was in full swing by the second season. We even made the track bigger because we could all skate better and longer and were getting dizzy with the smaller oval. What once was a make-shift entertainment for us and our city is now a real sport much bigger than the Texas Rollergirls.”
Cat Tastrophe, #XX – Hotrod Honeys (retired)

“The first-ever Texas Rollergirls bout was one of the first bouts I ever skated in. I started about a month before the league split and during that time, the emphasis was on entertaining the crowd. You could be ultra-violent on the track, but you couldn’t be boring. We were taught how to clothesline an opponent and start a fight when the play went south. There were a few outstanding skaters at the time, but very few women came from athletic backgrounds.
There was no Rec League or WFTDA rulebook, so it seemed like most of us were learning as we went along. After the split, there was a definite shift towards creating something new and better with an emphasis on skating. Thanks to the hard work of a handful of women, what had been a carnival on wheels turned into a legitimate sport in a short period of time.”
Voodoo Doll, #29 – Hotrod Honeys

“It was my very first game! Today is also the anniversary of the Hustlers’ very first game. Even though we had to go by the name ‘Purple team’ since it was so close to the split of the leagues, it is still our anniversary. IT was the day that Electra Blu got to show off her new team. IT was the day Eight Track reminded us why underwear needs to be worn under pantyhose. IT was the start of the Hustlers’ undefeated season! So many purple memories started on this day.”
Cheap Trixie, #13 – Hustlers

One Comment

  1. Ruby!
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I am so very proud to see where we have come and feel honored to skate beside and against you amazing ladies. Thank you to all of the Texas Rollergirls before us that paved the foundation for our organization and your contributions to flat track roller derby around the world. I’m excited to see where this journey leads us next!

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