WINDBER — They have names like Kimproper Konduct, Summer Shovin, Foxy Balboa, Roxie Razorblade and Daisy Duk'in. But these aren't your grandmother's roller derby girls.
The J-town Roller Girls are a Women's Roller Derby League that formed in April. The ladies have been practicing since May 5 in the Windber Community Building.
As a way to introduce themselves to the community, they are sponsoring a Roller Derby exhibition bout "No Miner Penalties" on Saturday as part of the Miners' Day Festival in Windber.
Doors to the community building open at noon with the bout to start at 1 p.m. Admission is free to the public and everyone is encouraged to come out and see how the sport has changed over the years.
"This was exactly what the director of the building was looking for," team founder Kim Stewart, aka Kimproper Konduct, said. "The space was open when I approached to ask if we could practice here. Windber is always looking for a new and exciting activity. The borough was even excited about bringing back an oldtime sport that people loved."
Since the Miners' Day Festival is the first of many held in Windber during the year, leaders asked Stewart if there would be a way for them to participate in the event. She told them her team was still learning the sport, but because the derby system is so supportive of all the leagues other players from across the country were willing to come play.
"Players from the big team in Pittsburgh love to help out new leagues," Stewart said. "They love to show their skills to new girls. Ladies who play, whether for pay or for free, love to get out there and show off the sport. I immediately got 28 skaters from across the state and West Virginia. Plus, a number of referees are coming in to help out as well."
Stewart said Roller Derby was only played in Johnstown once a year decades ago. But because so many people loved watching it on television, she believes it will rapidly catch on in the area.
The J-town team is made up of 40 women who range in age from their early 20's to their mid-40's from Somerset and Cambria counties. There is also one lady from Altoona.
"The closest leagues are in State College, Pittsburgh and Westmoreland County," Stewart said. "I know I was getting tired of driving an hour and a half to play, and others were saying the same thing. So a few of us got together and decided this would be the perfect area to start a league. There isn't much to do around here besides go shopping. The ladies need an outlet. Roller girls are a breed of their own."