Wellington’s roller derby in a league of its own
June 1, 2017
Wellington’s roller derby league made light work of two visiting teams on Saturday.
Richter City kicked off the season by hosting a double-header at Kilbirnie’s recreation centre.
The Richter City All Stars were unbeatable, winning 448 – 29 against Vagine Regime Aotearoa, a team of skaters from around the country.
In the second bout the Richter City Convicts defeated Whanganui’s River City Rollers 427 – 41.
Though Richter City’s teams made it look easy, one veteran roller derby player said the sport was anything-but.
Julia Bromley, whose track name is Princess Slayer, said the game was not for the weak, likening its physicality to rugby.
“It’s pretty rough, there’s a lot of knee and ankle injuries,” she said. “I’ve had my knee replaced and broke hands twice.”
Wellington Free Ambulance medics were waiting trackside with a gurney at Saturday’s games. They came on to the track to help an official who could not get up after being knocked down.
Bromley said most times a player was hurt it was because of bad-luck falls.
“A lot of training is injury prevention and getting used to falling, because we fall all the time.”
Bromley said retaining new players was challenging because the sport required a high level of dedication. “We train four times a week.”
Prospective players were encouraged to learn the sport as “fresh meat” before playing a public bout.
“We do a fresh meat intake twice a year, it’s quite hard to keep them because it’s such a high commitment.”
The training programme’s most recent graduates will be competing in their first public bout in Wellington this November.