The Atlanta Derby Brats are the future of the Atlanta Rollergirls. From the youngest beginners to the seasoned veterans on the travel team, these girls have focus, drive, and proud parents! Some of the Brats’ parents are rollergirls, but many have discovered more about roller derby through their determined daughters. On the cusp of the Brats’ first bout of the season this Saturday, we asked some of their parents about how roller derby has changed their daughters’ lives for the better.
I am Melissa Martin, mother of BeKevorkian (Rebecca Martin), #187. She has skated with the Atlanta Derby Brats since March of 2013. She turned 18 in February, so this spring marks her final months with the Brats.
I didn’t choose roller derby for Rebecca, she chose it herself. Or maybe it chose her. We went to see the Atlanta Rollergirls’ bout in February of 2013. When she saw the rollergirls, she knew she wanted to play. But it looked fast, tough, and she had never skated. She was unsure. I encouraged her because I knew how badly she wanted to play.
Roller derby is basically the best thing that has ever happened to her. It has given her a confidence in herself and in her physical abilities that I have never seen before. I always say, “I’m so glad she found derby before she found her first boyfriend!” Derby has challenged her, but those challenges have just made her push herself harder, in the sport and in life. I think it’s a combination of the sport and the women involved in it. Her coaches are just truly amazing women! To list just a few: Tanya Hyde, Deathskull, Hate Ashbury, Queen, Helga, Nutella, and others including N.M.E. and Hurtie Gertie, who were both there the day Rebecca walked onto the rink holding her skates to tell the coaches, “I don’t know how to skate.” It’s incredible what she’s been able to accomplish in a year’s time under the training and direction of these women, combined with her passion for derby and her determination to do well.
I am Mama Dreamy, mom of Dream Taker. My daughter has participated in several sports through the years, but I never felt that she seemed happy, connected, or confident while playing. Roller derby and its wonderful “roll” models have taught my daughter it is okay to be herself, tried and true, without conforming to what others think or expect her to be. She is celebrated for her strengths, not her shape or size. She has learned that a female can do anything she puts her mind to, both athletically and professionally. All while still being beautiful, strong, and confident. She has formed an amazing bond, really a sisterhood, with her teammates that will last a lifetime. We will always be thankful that derby found us and look forward to what this crazy sport has in store for her. Roll on, Dream Taker!
My name is Shaun Green. I have two Brats daughters, DilEmma and DizEsther. DilEmma is 14 and has been skating with ADB since their first season when they played in the gym of a Decatur church. DizEsther is 11 and has been skating with ADB for about 3 years now.
After just a couple seasons of skating with ADB, the girls became relatively strong skaters. Now their skating continues to improve. They both have developed a love of the sport, and (what makes a father most proud) they feel obligated to throw hits on their friends in the halls of their schools.