Roller Derby Girls

The next Roller Derby star could be the girl next door. The Tornado Alley Rollergirls revived the sport in April 2006, the first Oklahoma team in thirty years. The Oklahoma City umbrella league has four teams practicing and their first exhibition bout is scheduled for January 7, 2007.

The four teams practice in a warehouse donated by Gardener Tanenbaum Group, one of their sponsors. Players are required to practice at least twice a week, once with their own team and once with the whole league. Practices are not open to the public.

Brooke Burleson, or “Sally Strych 9,” a hairstylist with Guinns Salon, doesn’t look the part. A ‘girlie girl’ she skates three times a week, three hours at a time. “It’s great exercise,” she said. “I hadn’t skated since I was thirteen years old, so I had to totally relearn. It was very, very hard at first.”

Reagan Kloiber, or “Suzy Heartbreaker,” started the idea along with eight skaters. They got together in April, 2006. Now almost forty women practice. Normally, only one league per state is allowed, but permission for leagues was granted to Tulsa and Oklahoma City because of the distance. Begun about the same time, Tulsa has one team on their league.

“We have strong leadership, we’re strong willed and we all feel comfortable skating,” said Amanda Lipscomb, aka “Jane’s Affliction,” the league manager and one of the original members.

“Most of the girls work. And most are mothers and professionals,” said Lipscomb. “I work at Tinker and have three children ages 13, 14 and 17. My husband is head of league security and my youngest son is my teams’ water boy.”

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