It’s a sport many people are not familiar with in the New York metropolitan area. It’s roller derby, and there’s a team right here in our backyard. In an effort to attract more fans and attention to the game, the Garden State Rollergirls have rebranded themselves in order to create a more inclusive environment for skaters.
As the 2020 season is about to get underway, the team will now be known as the Garden State Roller Derby. Based out of Mount Arlington in Bergen County, the team’s first home game will be on Saturday, March 7th at 8 pm at the Inline Skating Club of America.
GSR IS NOW GARDEN STATE ROLLER DERBY
January 22, 2020 – North Arlington, NJ —The Garden State Rollergirls are ushering in the new year by reflecting on our league’s core values and making changes that exhibit them. Most notably, we will now be known as Garden State Roller Derby (still GSR for short).
As noted in our team’s mission statement, GSR’s members “uphold camaraderie, dedication, skill, physical and emotional strength, and above all else, respect for the sport and its participants.” And at this point, we no longer feel that it is respectful to ask teammates who do not identify as female to skate under the rollergirls moniker.
One of the reasons that we love this sport so deeply is that as the derby community evolves, we consistently strive toward the diversity and inclusivity required to accommodate its members, and amplify the voices of those who direct us to better practices consistent with those values.
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s updated gender policies have moved us all forward in this direction, and many leagues worldwide have made changes to their names, logos, bylaws, and mission statements in a show of support.
GSR has chosen to participate in these changes in ways that are right for us, with no judgment or commentary about the choices other leagues are making. Our community has voted to rebrand our team and update our bylaws to WFTDA’s language on gender inclusivity.
Separately, GSR will also be converting to a non-profit organization during the 2020 season, and as such will become more involved in spreading the message of respect and acceptance in the communities where we skate.
We look forward to sharing this journey with you, and thank you for your support of our league to date!
Garden State Roller Derby is New Jersey’s premier flat-track roller derby league, consisting of approximately 40 skaters. The league has two traveling teams, the all-star Ironbound Maidens and the B-team, the Brick City Bruisers. In addition, there are three home teams, the Northern Nightmares, the Jersey City Bridge and Pummel, and the newest home team the Gateway Grim Reapers, who bout against each other throughout the season.
GSR is in Division 3 of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).