Roller derby returns to Swain County March 1

Feb 23, 2014
Photo by: Donated photo ROLLER DERBY — Pictured are the Smoky Mountain Rollergirls in sparkly purple uniforms.

The Smoky Mountain Rollergirls Roller Derby team is back at the Swain County Recreation Center March 1.

From all across western North Carolina, SMRG is a group of mixed-experience skaters, rolling with the punches and entertaining audiences with bouts against other roller derby teams from across the Southeast.

On Saturday, March, 1, the team takes on Gastonia’s G*Force. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first whistle blows at 6 p.m. to start the game.

Purchase tickets online at for $5 or get them at the door for $7 (ages 7 and under are free). Meet and greet both teams at the after-party down the road at the Nantahala Brewing Company.

Meeting at least twice weekly, the SMRG girls don’t just rock it out on the flat track; they contribute heavily to their communities in western North Carolina. Whether it be a food pantry drive during a parade or collecting school supplies the team spreads it spirit and goodwill like grease on a wheel.

This season, SMRG will be focusing its fundraising efforts on Hawthorne House in Bryson City and The Cherokee Children’s Home.

With a membership of 30 to 40 women, the Smoky Mountain Rollergirls currently have one rostered team comprised of about 14 members and two alternates. Games are an hour long, full of intense sweat, strength and sheer willpower. Jammers and blockers utilize team strategy with jammers scoring points and blockers, well — blocking.

Flat track roller derby is a fast-paced contact team sport that requires speed, strategy, and athleticism. There are minimum skill requirements that must be passed before a person can progress to contact play and scrimmaging. They are based on things like laps done in a specified time, taking and giving blocks, whips and working within a pack.

The public is invited to watch a practice at the Swain Rec Center on Sunday or Wednesday evenings.

Call 506-1022 for more information.