Knoxville Roller Derby celebrates 10th anniversary

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“I just like to hit people,” said Barbara Bushwacker, a member of the Hard Knox Roller Derby.

These women don’t just roll, they rock hard.

“I can smile and kick your butt at the same time,” said Battle Ready Betty.

This is the Hard Knox Roller Derby. Just your average Knoxville citizens turned roller girls.

“In my normal life I’m very laid back, very chill. So I’d like to think of my alter ego as Barbara Bushwacker,” said Bushwacker. “She’s very aggressive and she likes to hit people just because she can.”

With an alter ego comes a new identity.

“My dad was in the navy, I grew up a navy brat so, Battle Ready Betty,” said Betty.

Not to mention, these women are tough.

“When people aren’t looking, I like to nail them and I feel really awesome about it. I can be a jerk and it’s OK,” said Bushwacker.

This year they’re celebrating a decade of derby in Knoxville, but also a lifetime of friendship.

Everybody’s got a different reason for being here, but really the activity and family aspect brings us together,” said Bushwacker. “We are one big tight unity. We all love each other and hit each other all the time.”

For the derby girls, the uniqueness of the sport is what makes it all the more special.

“Derby is something that changes you,” said Betty. “It it empowers you, it digs deep inside of you and brings out the best part of you. We all get to be together being the best part of ourselves.”

“This is where I’m supposed to be. This is it,” said Bushwacker.

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