World Roller Derby Week

Steve Cochran

The Roller Derby crew

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The legendary Chet Coppock stopped by the studio to talk about World Roller Derby Week. Chicagoland athletes are leading a global celebration of the only major sport invented in Chicago, roller derby. An open to the public roller derby birthday party at the site of the first roller derby at the Chicago Coliseum in 1935 — Coliseum Park; a coast-to-coast blood drive powered by roller derby; and the capstone event — a commemorative retro-style roller derby game played in rules and uniforms of the 1970s, when a roller derby game sold out Comiskey Park with 50,118 fans on Sept. 16, 1972 are the Chicago-area events being produced for World Roller Derby Week, Aug. 13-19.

The new generation of roller derby isn’t playing the game for ratings — they are playing it as the first contact sport for women; thus the empowerment and 1967 leagues, including 300 junior leagues across 65 countries worldwide. Roller derby of today has evolved into something different than it began but perhaps it’s a more powerful change maker than it was; it matters more and it makes more of a difference in people’s lives and in the communities where it is played.


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