Sports

Bahamian roller derby team seeking more skaters

The Bahamian Beauty on Wheels (BBOW) – a Bahamian professional roller derby has been in existence since 2015 and has been developing over the years. The team is led by Yolanda Sheridan who will be in New Providence to do an introductory session at Skate City on Bacardi Road, at 8:30 p.m. on Monday January 20.

Roller derby is not a popular sport here in The Bahamas but Sheridan has completed the first step in forming a professional team.

The session is open to women from ages 18 and up who are focused and willing to be committed as the team is looking to join the professional ranks. No previous skating experience is needed but being athletic is a plus.

“Any young lady who comes down to the rink will see how we train,” Sheridan said. “What I want to do is explain to them exactly what we are and what our purpose is. I also want to explain to them the history behind the roller derby and not just that but what position this is going to put BBOW in.”

There will be about eight young ladies who are already a part of the BBOW team who will be at the informational session.

Sheridan is not spearheading it by herself. She has a business partner in American Mark Scoggins who is based in Los Angeles, California. He has over 25 years experience as a professional in the sports and entertainment industry.

“The one thing that we are looking at from the girls is that if they are interested – the most important thing that we want from them is their commitment. If we get their commitment then they will be able to skate and practice on their own, to be able to get this thing to the level where BBOW is able to compete,” Scoggins said.

For about 13 years, Sheridan has worked alongside some of Hollywood’s elite as a celebrity make-up artist. She learned to skate in 2014 and took it on as a hobby. When she was in Exuma, where she resides and owns a business, she was on a basketball court skating when other women became interested and that was when she decided to start BBOW, so that there can be an avenue for women to be active while building character.

Roller derby is a competitive contact sport played by two teams of five members skating counter clockwise around a track.

Sheridan has taken a few of the skaters to a training camp in Atlanta for additional training. They have not competed as yet but they are hoping to do so some time this year.

“The last time we went was in September (2019) when we ended up training with the Atlanta Roller Derby Team. Now that we are on our way, and a lot of the girls have passed a lot of the techniques, we are going to transition to actually compete this year.”

It is Sheridan’s hope that the young ladies who went to Atlanta, Georgia, improve themselves and exhibit what they learned in practice.

While in Atlanta, Sheridan said the team gained a lot of attention just with The Bahamas brand on their jackets.

She and Scoggins are not only looking to have the team compete but also to help them develop and to empower them through skating.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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