Roller Derby players test their skills on the rink.
Roller Derby players test their skills on the rink.

Ladies set a furious pace

The Roller Derby players gather for a workshop at the Lismore skating rink on the weekend.

BY day Margaret Fackler of Austin, Texas, is a maths and science teacher, but once she hits the roller skating rink in her spare time she transforms into Olivia Shootin’ John.

Olivia Shootin’ John along with Kitty Decapitate, Rice Rocket and Beerier was one of the coaches at a roller derby boot-camp held in Lismore on the weekend at which 80 skaters learned more about the craft of “jamming”, “blocking” and “falling” in the fast-growing sport of roller derby.

Creating fierce-sounding pseudonyms was just a part of the fun of roller derby said Amelia Ahern, 35, of Lismore, who goes by the moniker of The Ameliorator when on the rink.

“I learnt to roller skate when I was five, but I only started roller derby nine months ago,” she said.

“I’d never been into sports before, but this is fun and the team aspect makes it more interesting.”

Roller derby involves ‘packs’ of five women blocking a skater from another team from passing them in a fast-paced race around the rink.

“You need to learn all of the basics like how to fall safely and a written test on the rules before you are allowed to compete,” Ms Ahern said.

“It’s a full combat sport and it goes fast; that’s why there is such emphasis on safety.”



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