Roller derby lovers have high hopes of getting back into a jam or two, after the blow of losing their venue just as they were hitting their stride.
New England Roller Derby League (NERDL) will hold an information session in Tamworth this month to introduce people to the contact sport.
President Brenna Paterson – who skates under the name Billie Phoenix – said she hoped to see women and men come along to find out more about the hard-hitting, fast-paced sport.
She said previous members had included a number of Gunnedah residents, whom she would welcome back again.
Then, on Sunday afternoons in February and March, they’ll be able to hit the track and get started on the basics of skating and roller derby.
“Our league has been around since the end of 2016 and we were up and running for about a year, then we lost our venue at the Thunderdome on Anne St,” Miss Paterson said.
“It was really good: we had a co-ed league going and quite a few people getting up to competition stage.
“We’d also launched quadfit – a derby-based fitness program with no contact and focused on fun and fitness rather than games.”
Now, NERDL has gained the OK to take to a court at Tamworth Sports Dome.
Operations manager Sammy Bowen said roller derby was “such a unique sport that can really show the diversity of the sports dome”, which usually hosts more traditional sports such as basketball, netball and indoor hockey.
“It’s such a different sport we didn’t know if the timber floors would be suitable,” Ms Bowen said.
“We ran a trial and that was successful, so we’re happy to run a competition.”
She said she wished NERDL the best in building up its numbers again.
“It’s an exciting sport and the association is really passionate, so that’s a bit contagious,” she said.
“I hope other people feel the same and give it a go.”
Miss Paterson said “you don't have to have been a sporty person” to get into roller derby, and the benefits were many, including fun, fitness and friendship.
“I kind of feel free when I’m on skates; it’s freeing being able to skate around and be in a full-contact sport without running, which I’m not good at,” she said.
“You make a lot of cool, like-minded friends as well.”
- NERDL’s information night will be held on January 13 at 4pm, at West Tamworth League Club’s Dennis Condon room
- Skaters must be over-18 – please bring ID