Best Of

Best Youth League


The Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars are five-time Women’s Flat Track Derby Association world champions, which may make you wonder how to get involved in the sport in the first place. While many non-athletes are drawn as adults to derby’s DIY feminist culture — with its burlesque-like outfits and punk rock names like Bonita Apple Bomb and Davey Blockit — a growing number of young women and girls in New York are growing up on the rink. Gotham Girls Junior League, the local derby outlet for teens and tweens, runs derby classes and summer camps for girls ages eight to seventeen to learn how to skate and perfect their derby skills. It attracts a diverse range of girls, including those who don’t fit into other sports or even other spaces, and teaches them to hit their opponents, and life, hard. And more important, to get back up and skate on when life throws you an elbow.