Louisa, I wish all of Derby could know you.

she will never realize how much she has done for Derby, and thanks to Aron and Ref for keeping the site going with over 4000 members. Derby drama is good for no one.


In her own words:

“So yeah, I still suck at skating, I don’t have all the time I wish I did to practice. It sucks. it does. So after a year I am still “Raw Meat” – that sucks, it does! But that is also okay! Okay? Because I have my enthusiasm of 12 cheer-leading teams for all things Derby. If you aren’t down with that and the fact that I am still almost a total beginner, you are on the wrong page! But I have asked ALL of you here for your expertise, experience and…and…and well, frankly, anything you are willing to share and give to others. We all started in the same place, we may not end up in the same place – but c’mon, give a hoot! Talk to each other and let’s make this a real community of sharing. Derby (heart) Love!”

That is what Louisa…

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One comment on “Louisa, I wish all of Derby could know you.

  1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
    There has been much written about the women of the Roller Derby. Some of it might be just fictionalized promotions. I felt it important to reveal some truths that I experienced as an athlete, in hopes that women can continue to improve.

    Female Professional Athletes
    All through the 50’s, Roller Derby was very popular. It was the women that seemed to capture the audience’s attention. It was often said that when a paying customer left a live Roller Derby game, they remembered the women. We were popular, so much so, that maybe the men were a little envious. The women athletes were always part of some new controversy and marketing scheme. When the owners arranged for photo shoots and press meetings, those arrangements always had a good number of the ladies in attendance. The press was always writing about the women. I guess that the reporters thought we were brutes or overly masculine.

    Living With The Competition
    I was the type of skater that was always on the visiting team. This meant that in the public eye, I was a villain. I was one of the ones that was always being yelled at or booed by thousands of fans. They wanted to see me fall. And the games had plenty of excitement and falling! Once you become a professional athlete, you learn some important things about people. The audiences may have thought that I had hated my home team opposition. But you learn to live with your competitors. As we went from town to town, I actually got along very well with most of the other women athletes. I traveled with the home team rivals, and we were quite friendly to one another off the track. We learned, like the men, that we had to be careful about holding grudges off the track. As part of my growing experience, I learned to put aside some professional differences that I might have had with a skater from the other team. Once the games started, we would be right back at it. We would try to out skate, bump block, outshine and even at times pull each other’s hair. But that was only in the game and on the track.

    A Few Cold Moments
    There were just a few women skaters over the years that I met, with whom I did not become friends. I am not sure why this happened, but I guess it happens in all sorts of professions. In my case, there were a few of the women that would always give me the icy shoulder on the track as well as off the track. One skater in particular was always one to avoid looking at me or talking to me when we were travelling or at dinner. She even avoided eye contact while we were in the locker room, getting ready for a big race. I soon realized there might be some serious problems between us. The spiteful jabs continued onto the track as well, where she got in a few blows below the belt, if you know what I mean.

    Enemies In Your Own Camp
    Over the years, I always felt that I was being held down by a few other skaters. The ones that seemed to occupy the spot light would never mention any of their other teammates or skaters when they had an interview. I saw the sport as a team sport. It wasn’t like tennis where there is just one player. Because I was a team player, I just thought that those few skaters had some sort of personal issue and I ignored them for the most part. I loved to skate, even if my adversaries were there. In fact, they were at all of my games, and they skated on my team. My teammates were the ones who were harder to get along with, more than any of the athletes from the other teams we skated against. The Roller Derby is a funny world that way.

    Women In Competitive Situations
    For women that take on a professional sport or a competitive career, there may be some unique challenges you may encounter that men may not. Women might want to hold a grudge longer than a man. It is important to learn to ignore your desire take those grudges off the field or out of the sport and into your personal life. Women of the 21st century are learning to reach down and help mentor the younger women rather than hold them back. Just as men have the “old boy’s” network, today’s women are developing an “old girl’s” network. Women have these unique challenges ahead of them when they embark on a professional sports career. We need to remember how we felt when we were young, and help those youngsters to see that they have a friend and a mentor in the sport. But once the game starts, watch out!

    It has been my pleasure to be with you,

    Loretta “Little Iodine” Behrens

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