Roll on up for derby
It's the fastest team sport on skates and it's ready to roll into Trusts Stadium on Saturday night.
The Pirate City Rollers' final showdown roller derby match will see the Blackheart Bruisers clash with the Mascara Massacre for the Dahlia Cup.
Players compete in two 30-minute halves wearing skates, helmets and pads.
They race around the circular track trying to prevent the other team's jammer from lapping the pack to score points.
The Dahlia Cup has never been won by the Massacre and it's been a whirlwind season for rookie Ivy Bruce of Massey, who's known as Minnie Mayhem on the track.
"We've got a good chance. There's a bit of pressure for us to win the cup," Bruce says.
"At the Pirate City Rollers we want to make roller derby a professional sport. It's a great game with a festive atmosphere."
But it's not for the faint-hearted says Henderson's Yvette Young of the Bruisers, better-known as her alias, Pinot Mwah.
"Roller derby is like rugby on wheels but without the ball," Young says.
"It's also about the spectacle, you get to dress up and take on a different persona on the track."
Roller derby is a high-intensity female sport that originated in the 1930s in the United States.
It started gaining popularity in the 1970s.
The fanfare died down over the following two decades but is now making a big comeback worldwide.
The sport has been likened to a mixture of ice hockey, American football and pro-wrestling.
The rule book had to be re-written in the early-2000s after junkyard derbys in the States began to get a little out of control with their physicality.
The Pirate City Rollers organisation was founded in New Zealand in 2006 and has been going strong ever since.
Bruisers' Samara Pepperell from Western Springs, also known as Lady Trample, started roller derby only a year ago after watching a few matches.
"I actually started learning to skate in car parks and joined in from there.
"After the game I feel awesome, it's such a buzz," Pepperell says.
Visit piratecityrollers.com to purchase tickets for Saturday night's bout.
- Western Leader
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