‘Wanted: Women with passion for hip checks, skates and fun’ Croydon Roller Derby seeks new members

We’ve all had days where the stresses of life prove too much and we want to shove someone aggressively to the ground – well now there’s an outlet for that, roller derby.

If you can imagine a hybrid of speed skating and track cycling with roller skates you’re some way to understanding how roller derby works.

This ever-growing phenomenon is essentially a full-contact sport popular with women, which involves two teams of five members battling it out on quad roller skates with the aim of outscoring their opponents.

Croydon Roller Derby are holding tryouts this weekend as they look to add to their two teams – Riot Squad and Vice Squad – and current Vice Squad member Amy North encourages women of all abilities to go and try it out.

“Be brave and give it a go. Believe in yourself and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve,” said Amy.

“Many of us didn’t have prior skating experience before trying out – the only experience I had was at the occasional roller disco – but it doesn’t matter.

“We’re looking for people with a great sense of teamwork and a positive attitude. The skating skills can be learned as you enter the training programme led by some of our top skaters.”

Roller Derby 1YOU SHALL NOT PASS: Roller derby is a fast, frantic and fun sport

Each team consists of one jammer whose role it is to score points by legally passing the hips of opposing team members, and four blockers who stop the jammer from getting past while helping their own jammer pass the other team.

And herein lies the demanding aspect of the sport as shoulders, hip checks and shoving opponents to the ground are all legal. But you don’t need to be aggressive to enjoy it.

“The great thing about roller derby is it’s all inclusive. Yes, it is physically demanding, but it doesn’t matter whether you’re tall, short, slim or curvy, everyone can strap on some skates and get involved,” added Amy.

It may be worth putting a bit of thought into a potential nickname beforehand though, as one of the sport’s quirks is each skater takes to the track under the guise of a physchological boosting alias.

Amy’s is Amygeddon for no other reason than she liked it when she chose it and now it reminds her that she’s a fully fledged member of the CRD.

Roller Derby 3 TEAM BONDING: Croydon Roller Derby is hosting trials for new members this weekend

But now the CRD are looking to expand and take on promising trialists as they follow on the success of the #ThisGirlCan campaign.

“We are looking to find and develop the next wave of players and referees,” said Amy.

“The roller derby community and CRD is growing and we want to grow with it to remain a competitive and well-respected team.

“We also want to encourage more women to take up sport. Following on the back of the #ThisGirlCan campaign, we want to spread the word about roller derby, why it is so much fun and a great way to get moving as well.”

Tryouts take place on February 28 from 12-2pm at their training ground in Carshalton. For more information visit or contact [email protected].

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