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Gallatin Roller Girlz show tough side of Bozeman sports scene

By Kane O'Neill, KTVM Sports, koneill@ktvm.com
Published On: Jun 12 2013 03:20:27 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 12 2013 07:03:10 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

When most people think of Montana they picture big mountains for skiing and rodeos. But in Bozeman, some girls are changing the look of the local sports scene.

"Not all of us can have horses, you know?" said Tara N. one of the Gallatin Derby Girlz. "Not all of us can make it to the ski hill everyday. So this is something we do during the evenings."

The Gallatin Roller Girlz, as they're called, have skated onto the scene in Bozeman and the community has enjoyed what they've seen.

"There is really a huge energy at these home bouts." said Roller Girl Tornado Juice. "I think the fans feel it too. It seems like they're having a great time and it's just a big party, it's fun!"

Many of these girls have only been on the derby team for a year but say the girls feel like family.

"We challenge each other and create deep friendships with each other. It's on and off the rink for sure," said Roller Girl Van Helen.

"You know all families go through all their hardships and we're right there with each girl when they go through that, in or out of derby," said Tornado Juice.

The girls will have their first home bout this Saturday and are ready to show Bozeman what they've been working on all season

"We've been practicing since January and our first bout was back in January against Billings and everyone's just excited to be home." Tara said with a smile. "You walk down the street and you hear people say, 'Hey we're going to the bout on Saturday, it's going to be great!'"

"In a lot of ways it's like a rodeo." said Van Helen. "It's very challenging but you can grow so much in the ways that you challenge yourself."

Now when people think of Montana, they're going to think of some rough and tough girls.

"I think I look pretty innocent at work and I am," said Tornado Juice as she laughed, "but I like to play roller derby and hit girls!"

Tickets for the event are $8 if you purchase them in advance or $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Tart in the Emerson, at Cactus Records, online at grgderby.com or from any Roller Girl.

Some of the proceeds will also be going to Warrior and Quiet Waters. The doors open at 7 p.m. with the bout beginning at 8.