Moms Columns & Blogs

Roller girls take to the rink

The Charlotte Speed Demons roller derby team is offering a youth roller derby program.

The Charlotte Speed Demons Junior Derby Camp, which starts in February, is open to girls ages 12-17. In this eight week program, participants will learn the skills and techniques necessary to play junior roller derby, a non-contact version of the adult game. The camp is designed to instill positive ideals and help young girls realize their own potential. In the final week, the campers will have the opportunity to play in their first roller derby game.

The Junior Derby Camp, like the Speed Demons team, is owned and operated by Race City Roller Derby.

"Many of our young fans have expressed an interest in playing the sport and we are happy to provide a place for them to do so," said Rebecca Bailey, Vice President of Operations for Race City Roller Derby. "In our camp, young girls will be athletic, increase their self-confidence and develop new friendships. I’ve been playing roller derby for the past four years and it’s been nothing but a positive influence for me."

The camp runs from February 4-March 24 and will be held on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. at Kate’s Skating Rink in Gastonia. For complete details, parents should email their name and phone number to

The camp’s instructor is retired Speed Demons player Melinda Bumgarnder, with assistance from current Speed Demons blocker Jenna Klauk. Additional Speed Demons players will assist with the training.

An informational meeting will be held at the skating rink at 10 a.m. Jan. 21.

The Charlotte Speed Demons is a women’s flat-track roller derby team. Established in 2010, they are owned and operated by Race City Roller Derby Inc. The team is part of the movement to develop roller derby into a professional level sport with an eye on inclusion in the Olympic Games.

Unlike other teams, in which players use stage names, stage makeup or nontraditional sports attire, the Speed Demons say they promote the athleticism of the sport and create a family-friendly environment because its athletes compete using their legal names and wear traditional sports uniforms.

The Speed Demons 2012 home season kicks off on Feb. 25 with a game against the Appalachian Roller Girls of Boone. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased for $10 in advance or $14 on game day. Advance tickets can be purchased at Season ticket packages and group rates are available.