Wellington will feel the trans-Tasman heat this weekend when New Zealand's first international roller derby battle rolls into the TSB arena.
In association with Asia Pacific Outgames, the Richter City All Stars will take on the Sydney City Assassins in a wheels-to-the-floor exhibition match.
All Stars captain and jammer Lindsay Huthnance, aka Skanda Lass, said they would not take it easy on their sisters from across the pond. "Oh, it'll be competitive," she promised.
She said they intended to play a fast game.
"We're pretty well matched ... They've got a couple of really fast jammers who they alternate, so we'll be going for a good defence," said Huthnance.
"It's one of our major strengths as a league and we've been doing a lot of work on our endurance for this game, as well."
All Stars member and "fresh meat" trainer Ruth Payne, aka Ruby Deathskates, said the international match was a chance to show off their athletic chops and get recognition for their sport.
"We train really hard, we sweat, we do press-ups, we do all of that stuff, just like a normal sport.
"But ... it's a brand new sport and you don't see that very often – a new sport developing in front of you, particularly a new sport like derby that tries to really bring in the crowd and create such a good atmosphere at the games."
Huthnance said that because spectators had been inspired to have a go, the Wellington league would more than double in size, to almost 70 skaters, when the training programme was completed in two weeks' time.
To accommodate them, the league is introducing a new team, drafted from experienced warriors and fresh meat.
The team drafts are on richtercity.co.nz.
International Derby, TSB Arena, March 19. Ttickets from Under the Radar. Doors open 6pm, bout starts at 7pm.
- The Wellingtonian