As we drove up to the Naptown Roller Girls’ secret lair, we didn’t really know what to expect. We had been looking for hours for their Eastside practice facility (the telephone number and address are not listed anywhere). Eventually we found a dark warehouse with loud music blaring, which seemed promising. When we walked in, we were greeted warmly by the two NTRG teams: the Tornado Sirens and the Warning Belles. As we watched their practice, we realized how hard these women work – they were in constant movement around the track, yelling, sweating, sometimes falling down. It was clear that they are devoted to their team.
We talked to Kate Franzman, also known as Noxious Donna, and Nicole Guio (Jen X) about their roles and experiences on the Naptown Roller Girls. Jen X is a pivot and blocker. Noxious Donna plays jammer and pivot.
Although roller derby is considered an “underground” sport, it has gained quite a following in Indianapolis. When every bout started to sell out at their previous venue, the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion, the Roller Girls moved to the Pepsi Coliseum. Their fans get really into the match and don’t leave early, regardless of the score.