Roller derby: State lawmakers pass resolution recognizing how the sport empowers women

Denver's Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, the best roller derby team in the world, recently accomplished another feat: the passage of Joint Senate Resolution 11-021 by the Colorado legislature. The purpose of the resolution? To acknowledge the "leadership, development and empowerment of women that the sport of women's flat track roller derby promotes."

PJ "Dangerous Leigh A'Zon" Shields, the Rollergirls' spokeswoman, says the league had been considering doing such a thing for a while, ever since the Chicago city council passed a resolution honoring roller derby last year. But it wasn't until skater Lorena "Kowabunga" Garcia, a registered lobbyist and director of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, joined the team that they drafted the resolution, found a sponsor and made it happen.

"It's important to us to explain how good the sport is for women and for girls in the junior league -- for health, fitness, well-being and self-esteem," Shields told us from the Capitol last week, where ten skaters and the Rollergirls' mascot, Wolfie, were on hand.

The bill's primary sponsors were Senator Angela Giron, a Pueblo Democrat, and Representative Angela Williams, a Denver Democrat. But the bill picked up ninety-seven co-sponsors the day it passed both the House and Senate. "We have found a great deal of support today," Shields said from the Capitol.

"This resolution kind of creates a page in history for us," she added. "That's important to us, because as the league develops and the sport develops, we are going to be the pioneers of modern roller derby. So creating that official record is good for us."

The resolution also mentions the fact that Denver's other roller derby league, the Denver Roller Dolls, will host the 2011 world championship tournament in November. The event will "[draw] to Denver an expected 10,000 roller derby fans from across the nation and abroad and [bring] in a projected $5 million to the state of Colorado," the resolution adds.

See video of lawmakers talking about derby below. (Video by "Undertaker's Daughter.")

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