Whilst the Bloody Sundaes and the Mistresses of Mayhem got suited and booted for training, I sat and chatted with them about being part of a bad-ass, skate-splattering Roller Derby Team. Although a no-nonsense bunch on the track, these girls with attitude turned out to be mothers, librarians, nurses, environmentalists, and total sweethearts.
When debating who was going to talk to me, Mary Fagdolene got rolled to the front – this surprisingly lean & unforthcoming girl was later voted as one of the toughest chicks on the track, could have fooled me.
Fags favourite move? A brief smirk interrupted her lacing up – ‘I’m pretty decent on the can opener. Pop up into their chest with your shoulder, it sends their momentum backwards and hopefully they’re gonna fall on their arse.’
Favourite moves listed by some of the other ladies included the ‘Cannonball’ (later renamed the ‘Clean Cannonball’), the Splatter and the Booty Bash. Don’t be fooled though – Being a total badass isn’t a prerequisite. Weapon of Ass Destruction claims to be living proof, this mother of three looks like she couldn’t fight her way out of a paper bag – her reputation will tell you otherwise. When asked how this girl (barely knocking on 50 kilos) gets rivals out the way? ‘By putting my arse into people’s stomachs, get your booty in their way!’
Worst injuries inflicted? There was light-hearted talk of shattered ankles, broken shoulders and dislocations. According to Malice Springs though, the team still aren’t anything to be scared of – ‘Hell no! Some of these girls are complete pussies until you get them on the track’, she said.
Is it a lesbian sport? The question got a mix bag of answers – ‘Maybe. There’s strong women on the track and it’s pretty hot, regardless of sexuality’, said Destruction.
Basing her gaydar on haircuts, Fagdolene had some observations to make of the fans – ‘Now I don’t mean to stereotype, but based on the haircuts of a lot of our fans I would say we definitely have a lesbian following’.
The general consensus by the girls is that the sport is completely encompassing of diversity, and promotes positive body image.
‘It’s a sport where “body image” – there’s no such thing, if you’ve got a big arse it’s a good thing. There’s no fake tan in roller derby, I like that a lot’, said long term skater, Freyda Nuffin.
According to the ladies, you really need to bring your game mentally if you want to get involved. Newcomer, (or ‘fresh meat’ in the Roller Derby world) Cirque Du Sleigh Her spoke of how mind games can really serve as a weakness or a strength – ‘derby is a very mental game I’m very hard to intimidate on the track, blockers try to scare me, even just by giving them evil stares.. I’m not really phased by any of that.’
To those thinking about getting involved in this sexy, vivacious sport – the ladies say DO IT. Unless your Drew Barrymore that is – ‘I don’t like that movie (Whip It), I don’t think it was a great portrayal of our sport. It was more like team romance with a roller derby background.
‘If you want to get fit and join a sport this is the most badass edgy kind of sport that you can play. It’s good for all women regardless of body shape and orientation; it’s a place for everyone, no matter what your fitness level. Fast or strong, you can find a place.’
So are what are you waiting for? Skates on ladies.