Used to be wives and girlfriends stood on the sidelines while their men swung clubs, rackets or bats.  Their concern then was for the bruises, broken bones and injured egos of their men, today, because of a resurgence in the popularity of the sport of Roller Derby, the shoe is on the other foot...because she’s the one wearing skates...and a helmet and shoulder and knee pads.  She’s the one with the bruises and the broken bones. 

Created and popularized some seventy years ago, Roller Derby went through a long period of lull largely because of fan fatigue over the scripted antics that dominated the sport at the time.  In the contemporary form, games, or bouts, as they are called in derby, are displays of grace and athleticism where skill, timing and strategy decide the outcome.  And the new form of derby has created a bit of a seachange in small town sports.  Teams have sprung up all over the state and it’s mom who needs time to practice and to hang out with her friends. 

In Red Bank a wife and mother decided she wanted to roll, but because of an already busy schedule, the only way to fit it in was to start from scratch and to start her own team, so she could design practice schedules to suit hers.  Stacie Rivera formed the Red Bank Roller Vixens.

When she discovered that her husband, fire fighter Jeff Rivera, had old school skating skills from his days of 1980’s street hockey, she invited him to join the fun.  He quickly became the team’s coach and mentor.  Today, this husband and wife form the nucleus of one of Jersey’s newest derby teams. 

Driving Jersey spent some time with the Vixens and also got to know the players from another derby league, the Jersey Shore Roller Girls.  Both stories will be part of Driving Jersey’s upcoming, first season on public television.  Enjoy this sneak peak and stay tuned for the full episode.