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The Belles of Chaos: Laredo’s All-Girl Roller Derby Team Hosts Fundraiser

By George Gonzalez
On November 20, 2014

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Representing the Laredo Roller Derby League, the Belles of Chaos hosted a fundraiser on October 16th at the Cold Brew rock bar consisting of a fun-filled night of karaoke and specialty drinks. Almost a dozen of the teams’ members were on hand at the rock bar for the event. Special $1 “pink” shots were created and sold to patrons in-which all the profits made from the alcoholic beverages went towards the roller derby team.

Griselda Soto, president of the Belles of Chaos set up the fundraising event in hopes to raise enough money to provide better equipment and accessories for the team. Soto says, “everybody buys their own gear,” elaborating that, “this is a very demanding sport and our wheels don’t last, so we have to constantly be switching them out.”

For example, depending on the kind of floor the girls play on, Soto explains that, “we need to switch the wheels in thickness and softness,” so each member, “has to have two or three pairs of wheels.”

Needless to say, the gear ends up becoming very expensive. “Every set ranges from $50 to $100 for eight wheels, so we need a little bit of help with that,” says the derby president.

Aside from upgrading the groups gear, the Laredo derby team is looking to invest in a warehouse to host their practices, “We need help renting a warehouse because of the weather,” highlighting that, “Laredo has some extreme weather and it changes and varies from one day to the next, so we are looking for an in-door space,” explains Soto

Mainly holding practices at the Lafayette hockey rink in Laredo, the team president states that they utilize another practicing space by Martin High School. However, “it doesn’t have any lighting,” proclaiming why they are actively seeking funds to rent a warehouse. Soto explains that she and the girls want to, “have more control over our practices, and the length of our practices, because we really need to be at a certain level in order to compete.”

When asked about how she first entered the world of all-female roller derby, Soto stated, “last year at around November, I had joined a previous roller derby team in Laredo. Unfortunately, that team dissolved.”

Nevertheless, with passion and heart for the sport, the hard-working derby leader was determined to come up with a new team, emphasising that, “we got together and made it possible. We started this team on June 20th.” So with the new league Soto plans to form several teams within the Belles of Chaos in order to build a stronger team and can participate in in-house bouts.

“Our goal is to have bouts with other roller derby teams closer to us, such as San Antonio or Corpus Christi. We are looking forward to having our first bouts in Summer 2015,” says the Belles leader.

So for those interested in joining the all-female derby team, Ms. Soto assures that the team is looking for new girls to join them. “We are always recruiting,” explaining that, “the turnout is high because of the demands of this sport and because we also have to take into consideration life issues.” When they first started, the Belles had eight girls but, “now we have twenty two, so we are very happy about that but we still need more. We are shooting for sixty to fulfill other teams.”

Lastly, if Laredoans are looking for more information on the all-girl derby team, fans are instructed to “like” their Facebook page [search: Belles of Chaos.] However, the derby team also advise those who are seriously interested in joining their team to contact Griselda Soto by phone at (956)326-8720 or Mel Esquivel at (956)508-1287.

(George Gonzalez could be reached at jorge.gonzalez@dusty.tamiu.edu)

 

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