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Friday, June 06, 2008

No Holds Barred: Natily Blair aka Ginger Snap on Roller Derby 

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  • On this special edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman begins a discussion of one of the fastest-growing sports in America: roller derby.

    Many may remember the popular roller derby television shows of past decades. Those shows, however, featured a staged version of this sport.

    In recent years, however, roller derby has been revived as a real sport, and mainly among women. Real competition is organized through the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, which has several dozen leagues as members.

    Among those leagues is the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league, based in New York City, and a skater-owned and operated organization.

    To introduce our listeners to this new wave of roller derby and to understand its history and development, we spoke with Natily Blair, the president of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby. While this league puts on real bouts, the athletes in it use humorous monikers to add to the sport's entertainment value. Thus, when Natily Blair competes, she is known as Ginger Snap.

    This Saturday, June 7, at the Hunter College Sportsplex in Manhattan, the next bout in the league's 2008 season takes place. The Bronx Gridlock, who were the 2007 league champions, open their season by facing the Brooklyn Bombshells. Natily Blair aka Ginger Snap skates for the Bronx Gridlock.

    In this lengthy discussion, Natily Blair traces the history of roller derby in America, explains its rules and objectives and why she considers it to be a combat sport, tells us what to expect at this Saturday night's bout, and more.

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