Swansea 17-year-old headed to France to compete with U.S. roller derby team

Posted 3/22/23

A Lexington County roller derby player will represent her country in France.

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Swansea 17-year-old headed to France to compete with U.S. roller derby team


A Lexington County roller derby player will represent her country in France.

Bobbi Creeden, 17 of Swansea, plays roller derby for the Columbia Junior Rollers and was recruited by the U.S. team to represent the country at the Junior Roller Derby World Cup, which takes place in July in Valence, France.

“It means a lot because I would not be here as a USA skater without my coaches and my teammates, the ones that I had that have since left and the ones that have joined since I have made it,”  said Creeden, who was one of 20 players selected to the U.S. Female Division team. “I’m glad that I get to be a part of not only this team, but the national team and represent both.”

According to Creeden, who qualified and was selected to the U.S. team in November, she screamed out of excitement when she found out the news.

Creeden is getting help in her trip to compete internationally from the Lexington chapter of the nonprofit organization Forty and Eight, which presented her with a $250 check at her local team’s March 15 practice. The national honor society of military veterans frequently provides financial assistance and grants to athletes or teams who lack sufficient funds.

Creeden has been roller skating since she was 9 and began to play roller derby when she was 13, telling the Chronicle that a friend of hers told her to join so she could hit her.

She has continued playing since, jokingly adding that she has managed to stop falling down.

Her derby name is “Babs the Breaker,” Creeden said, explaining that she said she wanted to play off “Bob the Builder” since her name is Bobbi.

“We don’t build things in derby, we break them,” she said.

Throughout her career she has had a few different numbers on her jersey, all of them meant to memorialize people in her life. Her first number was 9647 to represent her grandparents, and her current number, 1989, is the birth year of her brother and best friend.

The junior derby player said the sport takes a lot of physical and mental strength. You can’t have an “I can’t do this attitude,” she explained.

Creeden’s coach, Stacey Franklin, founded the Columbia Junior Rollers, which have been playing for more than a decade. The team holds its practices at Sports & Skate Station USA off U.S. Highway 1 in Lexington.

Franklin, who has been skating for 15 years, started with about eight players and now has more than 25.

“It means a lot because they came to us not being able to skate or being able to play the game,” the coach reflected. “It’s a lot of pride and being their coach, me and their other coach, we taught them everything and we’re just glad that they were able to make the team and represent their country.”

Lyn Creeden, Bobbi’s mother, has two kids on the Columbia Junior Rollers and said it is the most exciting thing her kids have done.

“They’ve done softball, they’ve done cheer, they’ve done basketball,” she said. “This is the most exciting thing.”

Creeden’s mother added that roller derby always has something for a player to do regardless of skill level.

“When the girls first started, they were pushing each other in the house and doing their derby stances,” she recalled. “You know, doing push ups and squats and trying to get stronger.”

columbia junior rollers, roller derby world cup, lexington county student, swansea athlete


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