Roller derby fans launch recruitment campaign

Skate 121 roller derby boot camp at Tupton Hall School
Skate 121 roller derby boot camp at Tupton Hall School

Roller derby enthusiasts will be mounting a massive recruitment drive for their team in Chesterfield this weekend.

Their campaign by Skate 121 will gather pace on Saturday, August 2, when members of Twisted Roller Vixens will be outside Primark in the town centre.

The team was started four years ago by Claire Hooper-Greenhill, skating coach and founder of Skate 121.

She said: “Roller derby is for anyone that wants to do it. Most of our team had never even skated before they started coming to practice and now they are playing in matches.”

North Derbyshire recently played host to more than 40 roller girls from all over the UK who took part in a roller derby boot camp, coached by Kamikaze Kitten of the London Roller Girls.

Women from teams as far as Plymouth City Roller made the journey to Tupton Hall School where the star player shared some of her top skills for scoring points on the track.

In basic terms, roller derby is a game (known as a bout) played on roller-skates. Four skaters from each team roller skate around an oval track while a nominated scoring player from either side known as the “jammer” tries to score points by lapping the other team’s skaters. The opposing team try to stop the Jammer passing them by blocking her or knocking her off the track.

The game of Roller Derby actually goes back as far as 1880 and began as endurance races (hence the name Derby) on roller skates and rose to

popularity between 1930-1960 in the USA.

In the early 2000’s the Texas Roller girls adapted the sport to its contemporary form and developed official rules and it has since undergone a phenomenal revival to become one of the fastest-growing contact sports in the world, with the creation of over 1200 amateur leagues worldwide.

It has been the main feature of films such as “Whip It” with Drew Barrymore and is currently tendering to be included in the 2020 Olympics.

If you you have ever dreamed of sailing around a roller rink like asixties queen, rather than voyaging to Austin, Texas, you can now head

to Queen’s Park Leisure Centre on a Sunday afternoon and see what it’s all “a-bout”.

If you want any info about Roller Derby or Roller Skating in Chesterfield and surrounding areas email Claire@skate121.co.uk.