Fast. Empowering. Fun. This is how skaters describe roller derby. At the Gotham Girls Crashpad, the four home teams scrimmage in preparation for the big event of the season, the doubleheader in Coney Island on July 14th.
The building is a brick warehouse in Bushwick. The Gotham Girls logo assumes the guise of graffiti on the front door, the Statue Of Liberty with red lipstick and both fists up. The door opens to a blue flat loop track lined in red. Scrimmaging skaters fidget on benches in the center of the track. The rest of the skaters are in the narrow sidelines next to the weight lifting equipment and kettlebells lining the black walls.
Music pumps over the din of referee whistles, the clack of quad skates and the urgent unintelligible shouts of skaters. Gotham Girls Roller Derby, five time World Flat Track Derby Association Champions, was founded in 2003 as a nonprofit, operated completely on volunteer power.