Queen City Roller Girls was founded in 2006 by two best friends inspired by the A&E series “Rollergirls.” This reality show chronicled the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls’ alter egos, friendships, triumphs, struggles, and the riveting bouts. Sissy Fit and Flotorious recruited like-minded skaters and volunteers, and built the league from the ground up. They spread the word online and with fliers at local hang outs, coffee shops, and colleges.
Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda was receptive to these efforts, and permitted recruitment activities at open skate sessions, which lead to booking private practices. Since our inception, the mission of Queen City Roller Girls was to create a place where women could live out that alter ego, continue playing sports into adulthood (or discover those joys for the first time), form lasting friendships, and improve our surrounding community.
In January 2007, the league’s thirty skaters formed three teams; the Devil Dollies, Nickel City Knockouts, and Suicidal Saucies. Many of those players are still involved today! Our first bout was held on February 10, 2007, an expo titled Slugs n’ Kisses. “SnK” sold over 400 tickets! To operate, we relied on financial support from fundraisers like “Rock ‘n’ Roller Derby” at Mohawk Place and the 80’s prom “Debutante Brawl,” as well as support from FWS, Al Cohen’s Rye Bread, and Vertasource. Camaraderie grew to be as important as athleticism. If you had dedication and a pair of skates, we would train you.
By our third year, we added a fourth home team, the Alley Kats. Despite our youth as a league, we consistently drew sell-out crowds of over 1,000 fans. The league’s success resulted from the efforts of its all-volunteer composition and the love of our fans. We have been covered by almost every major local news source, including a cover story in Buffalo Spree.
At this point in our history, the all star squad,“Team QCRG,” began to play other league travel teams. These opponents hailed from cities such as Tampa, Toronto, and Washington D.C. Team QCRG grew and evolved into our current Charter team, the Lake Effect Furies. In 2010, QCRG applied for apprentice status with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and were granted full membership a year later. The Lake Effect Furies began competing for rank within WFTDA’s eastern region.
Community involvement has always been a significant part of our mission and identity. We regularly volunteer with multiple organizations, including but not limited to, Habitat for Humanity, Brush Up Buffalo, Children’s Hospital, Ride for Roswell, and Buffalo Re-Use/Re-Tree. In addition to contributing our time, we donate a portion of all ticket sales to a designated charity. We’ve handed “big checks” to many organizations such as the Girls Sports Foundation, Crisis Services, and the Food Bank of WNY.QCRG has grown to over 120 members, which include competitive skaters, officials, and volunteers. It is more difficult to be a bouting skater than years past, but aspiring players still join year after year.
The Dollies, Kats, and Saucies are still battling it out for the Queen City Cup every season, our B level travel team, the Subzero Sirens, strive to perfect their skills, and the Lake Effect Furies are continuing their quest to the top of the WFTDA charts.