South Bend Studebreakers rolling the competition
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- They come from all walks of life: professionals, students, homemakers.
They all play for the same reason.
"We want people to understand that this is a real sport. We are real women. There are no scripts. There are no planned events. The hits we take are real. The injuries we get are real. And we practice really hard."
Roller derby combines the hard-hitting physicality of football and the great potential for sudden viciousness of ice hockey.
The South Bend Studebreakers are not just good at it, they're dominating their opponents.
"We practice three times a week. We aim to be the best. We aim to skate with the best, and we've done exactly what we've practiced for."
Winning wasn't their only goal. A year ago when South Bend was being called a dying city, it was enough to get organizers to bring the skates back.
"We have the means to bring in some kind of entertainment."
With 450 to 500 fans coming to their bouts, local businesses are reaping the benefits while the women are taking the hits.
"We want to be able to show that women can do it as well, and that they're made to withstand all of those powerful hits."
Powerful hits that send a powerful message.
"It's really great for you to know that you can take such a hard hit and get back up and keep skating."
And they say it's all about heart, both on the track and off.
"We do a lot of fundraiser and we donate to charities. We're not for profit. Everything we do is to raise money for other people who need it."