6 June 10
Roller derby is the resurgent women’s sport that involves skating around an oval rink, trying to prevent the opposite team’s jammer from overtaking you. Once popular as a spectator sport in post-war America, it disappeared for thirty years before undergoing a recent revival and is now growing fast — both here and in the U.S.
We first heard about roller derby several years ago through a locally-produced documentary Roller Derby Dolls. It seemed an interesting concept — but I didn’t give it much more thought until I saw that the local sports arena was hosting a match.
Last night we went with friends to see the Golden Roughs and the Liquorice Short Shorts play as part of the Sun State Roller Girls league. I had been warned in advance that it was popular, but driving to the venue, I was surprised when I started to see cars parked on the verges several hundred metres from the arena.
The crowd attending was predominantly youthful (which just means younger than me), mostly wearing black, lots of make-up and some outrageous hair-dos. The roller derby bout was advertised as an all-ages event, so some families brought their children along (as we did).
We had been advised to get in early to mark out seats. As it was, arriving over an hour early wasn’t good enough to nab chairs, but we did find a bit of floor-room big enough to accommodate two families plus the two extras who tagged along.
It took a long time for the game to start — over an hour — and that’s a pretty big wait for our little kids. I noticed that most of their stamina was used up in just waiting so that by the time the game started, they had almost lost interest in the whole event.
And the champions? Well, I hear the Golden Roughs won their first bout of the season last night, but we left at half time (which was 9 pm), ready to put the girls down and happy just to be able to say, “Been there, done that.”
Thanks to all our friends who came along to share this new experience with us. It was great seeing you there!