Bombshell Betty's Need A Home
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
COACHELLA VALLEY-- Roller derby is a high-action sport making a comeback with women across the country, including women here. But the players can't find a skating rink for their practices, and say they're being deliberately pushed out of valley parks. Members of the roller derby league called KMIR6 for help.
The Bombshell Betty's say they're determined to represent the desert, and weren't expecting to be blocked out like this.
Since December, the roller derby team with roughly 25 players, have been searching for a place to practice, but they keep getting kicked out of public parks and the closest skating rink is in Hemet.
Ryan Stendell with the City of Palm Desert says the women are not allowed on the basketball or tennis courts because of safety and money. He says the roller skates ruin the non-slip surface of the courts, which could cause injury. Not only that, Stendell says it costs roughly $30,000 every few years to repair the courts.
Derby Coach Jon Gaylor and the rest of the team say they don't think damage to the courts is the real issue here.
"It almost seems a bit prejudicial that they have all these spaces for male dominated sports- they're even accommodating skate boarding, but they won't accommodate roller skating?" says Co-Founder Lindsay Arthur.
The women say the league is a positive addition to the community. The Bombshell Betty's would be representing the Palm Springs area when competing against other teams.
"Theres a lot of money in roller derby if you go out there and do the research- hundreds of people show up to these bouts," says Arthur.
So in order to build up the league here in the desert, the Bombshell Betty's are pleading with either Palm Desert or Rancho Mirage to give them a home.
Stendell says thhe city is working to help the team find a place. He says they've looked into some empty lots. But as of yet, nothing has been done, and the team is sneaking around at undisclosed locations.
"Hopefully in the near future they'll have somewhere to call home instead of bouncing around," says Coach Jon Gayler.
But the women not giving up. In fact, they're recruiting women. If you're interested, membership is open to women 21 and older . You don't have to be a skater because they teach you how.
To become a Bombshell Betty or learn more, you can find them on facebook by searching "Bombshell Betty's" or visit this website: http://psbombshellbettys.com/