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In 2001, a group of women in Austin, Texas had no idea the trend they were about to start when they formed the Texas Roller Derby. Slowly but surely, word spread about the group of girls who were redefining derby, and soon, gusty women around the States followed suit, forming their own leagues. Gone is the spandex and choreography that defined roller derby’s last inception in the 70’s - the new brand of roller derby combines fierce athleticism and sex appeal with real action; all the spills and thrills, bruises and bloodshed are genuine. Since that fateful day in 2001, all-girl roller derby has spread like wildfire, with leagues in existence across the U.S. all league-owned and operated. Every major city has a roller derby league, and small towns are in on the action, too. Anywhere you find enterprising and dedicated women you’ll find a roller derby league. Inter-league play is now in full swing, with leagues traversing the States to play each other, culminating in a nationwide tournament, the Womens Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Nationals.

These days you'll find leagues all over the globe, but Pirate City Rollers was the first league to be formed outside of North America. When skater Dale "Black Dahlia" Rio from the States came to New Zealand for an extended stay in early 2006, she brought her skates and love for derby with her. With positive feedback from her friends in Auckland, she decided to found New Zealand’s first all-girl roller derby league. Soon a core group of skaters came together and the Pirate City Rollers was formed. Pirate City Rollers has since gone from strength to strength, having competitive "Black Dahlia Cup" home seasons since 2007 and interleague games and tournaments since 2009.

Alongside time spent running Pirate City Rollers, the league has made sure to not lose sight of the generosity and vision of Black Dahlia. The league works hard to encourage the spread of derby in New Zealand by helping women in other towns and cities to start their own leagues. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of trial and error to determine what works best for each individual league, but the Pirates are more than willing to share their experiences and lessons learned with those who are interested in forming leagues.

If you would like information on how to start your own league here in New Zealand, or if you would like to join Pirate City Rollers as a skater, referee, game official or helper, Contact secretary@piratecityrollers.com for information.

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