Windy City Rollers celebrate 15th season, welcome young skaters to game

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Windy City Rollers are now in their 15th season and remain a foundational franchise of women's flat track roller derby.

They host teams from all over the country for bouts in Chicago, and represents the city on the international stage in a game that knows for bounds for age, body type and fear.

"It's extremely competitive. We are currently ranked 27th in the world and we aim to be higher. We'd love to be No. 1 someday," said Isabel "Allend-ya" Vazquez, of Windy City Rollers.

They cross training for strength and injury prevention.

"I think I've lost count of how many bones I've broken, a lot of fingers, sprained ankles, broken tailbone, dislocated a rib, fat lip. I don't even know," said Susan "Mary Hatchet" Fagan, of Windy City Rollers.

But totally worth it, she said.

"I love having my girl gang, having a nice community that's outside of my work and my little town," Fagan said.

As the Windy City Rollers are sharing the sport with a growing number of junior skaters. The benefits of derby go beyond the track.

"I wish we had it when I was a kid because there's confidence and body positivity and there's acceptance and collaboration and there are fabulous wierdos. And there's nothing like this for kids that I've seen," said Nora "Coach Red" Flanagan, head coach of Chicago Riots.

Chicago Riots is a junior derby team for girls between age 10 and 18.

"It challenges you to do things you never thought you could," said Sara Fagan, a 13-year-old Chicago Riots skater.

Some new skaters start out shy and scared.

"Then they find these people they just click with. It's outside of school and outside of all that pressure they have at home. And they form these bonds that are just incredible," Fagan said.

The Chicago Riots has 50 girls on the team and has a waiting list.

For more information about Windy City Rollers, visit: https://www.windycityrollers.com/

For more information about Chicago Riots, CLICK HERE.
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