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Bellingham’s roller derby league jams the competition

Princess Rainbow Sparkle, Fist-Her Miyagi, and Fleetwood Smack are just a few of the illustrious characters skating for the Bellingham Roller Betties. Founded in 2006, the Betties are now in their 12th season. The league is structured with three different team types: a competitive team of all-stars, three home teams (Tough Love, Team F.L.A.S.H., and the Cog Blockers), and the Grit Pit—the training team for newer skaters.

Team F.L.A.S.H. coach Dottie Hazzard referred to the sport as a “society of athletes.” When asked why they joined the team, most skaters answered, “to meet new friends.” Moms, college students, physical therapists, librarians, and more come together to knock each other around on Saturday nights. “When you execute an amazing hit, it’s the best feeling in the world. You feel like a badass,”says Hazzard.

If you’re interested in attending a Roller Betties bout, check out Boundary Bay’s Insubordination IPA, which has the entire schedule printed on the can. Boundary Bay and the Betties teamed up to create this special brew, with the hope that the community will get more involved with the Betties. The name is inspired by a penalty call—when a skater gets a penalty and doesn’t leave the track, they are given a second penalty called “insubordination.” Each season, the Betties partner with a community-based nonprofit. This year, the Betties are working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Whatcom. The skaters connect with the program for different events and activities, and the league donates a portion of the income from ticket sales.

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"Moms, college students, physical therapists, librarians, and more come together to knock each other around on Saturday nights."