Kent Roller Girls take on Dundee Roller Derby at the Bay Sports Arena on September the 22nd. After their summer break, Kent have got back to training harder than ever and have been working together to perfect their formations. Photographer Steve James joined us last Sunday to see us in action before the game.
Lead jammer for Tenacious while Knightmares vice captain Grymkhana braces the defensive wall.
Roller Derby is one of the world’s fastest growing sports. It is a full-contact sport played on quad skates, with roots going all the way back to banked track roller marathons in the 50’s and American TV shows RollerGames and RollerJam in the 80’s and 90’s which featured pro-wrestling style choreographed combat on skates!
The All Stars’ captain Commander Pain Shepard is making Trauma Trevor’s scoring pass difficult.
Gone are the choreographed bouts of the TV shows; this is now a serious, tactical and hard-hitting sport. That said, a sense of fun is retained; there is still a strong feminist/DIY ethos and many players adopt humorous pseudonyms. Pictured below we have some great examples of these – DreadBlock, Fear Khan, Glitch and Pain Austen.
DreadBlock who is also known as Chantel in the non-derby world, has only recently become a full member of KRG’s main league and playing Dundee will be her first opportunity to play competitively. We found out how she was feeling before the big day:
“I’m feeling really excited, a little bit nervous. It feels like it’s been a long journey to get here but its been a fun one that has pushed me mentally, physically and emotionally. My parents and siblings are coming up to support me in my first game so I hope to make them proud. My mum will be the one in the crowd waving the Jamaican flag!”
Chip jams against a mix of A team and B team blockers.
Kent’s B team, the Knightmares, will be taking to the track with a few more brand new faces. Mama MoHito is not only the captain for this game, but has also been in charge of coaching rec league this year so she’s become very familiar with the newer skaters. She hopes that knowing these skaters from the first time they strapped on skates right up until their first game will help them communicate and work together better as one unit.
“I’m so proud and excited to be chosen as captain for this game. I love that I’ve been able to see these skaters get stronger and more confident each week. The transition from Rec League to playing competitively can be a daunting experience but I really feel like the team we’ve put together for this game is ready for the challenge!”
Mama MoHito, pictured with the big M on her shiny helmet.
Kent and Dundee have never met before on the track making it hard to predict who will be victorious and since the teams are so close in the UKRDA rankings (Dundee are 27th and Kent are 29th) it’s guaranteed to be exciting! KRG may also have some insider information in the form of skater Autopsy Turvey who transferred from Dundee earlier in the season. Can her knowledge of the team give Kent’s blockers and jammers the edge? Or will the Dundee skaters be saving their biggest hits just for her?!
All smiles after a tough session and a bruising scrimmage.
Kent Roller Girls are Kent’s longest established team, formed in 2010 by founding member Demi Lition, who you can see in action along with the rest of the team on the 22nd, when KRG’s A and B teams take on Dundee’s A and B teams.
Tickets are £8 in advance, buy them online here, or £12 on the door, under 12’s go free. Doors open at 12.30.
Thanks for the great photos Steve! See you at the game!