A group of talented young Australian women will be heading overseas to play one of the world’s roughest sports.
The first Junior Roller Derby World Cup is being held in Seattle this week and Australia has been asked to take part. They will be taking a team to the 2015 World Cup along with Canada and two US teams.
The Aussie team consists of eight girls from Adelaide, three from Hobart, three from Sydney, a few from Brisbane and one from Victoria. They will be playing in a competition that is full body contact and is played on wheels. The team is called Lizzie and the Frill Seekers and the coach is optimistic that we could come away as world champs.
Seventeen-year-old Sadie Mason is the one player from Victoria who will be representing Australia this year. She told the ABC that even though she’s just recovered from a broken arm because of the brutality of the sport she’s excited to be going.
Of the game she told ABC, “[It’s] exhilarating I’d say, it’s full contact, so you know you get home and then go, “Oh, okay, look there’s some bruises on my arm,” or it’s very easy to hurt yourself.”
Roller Derby is a contact sport between two teams made up of five players. Everyone skates in the same direction around a track. There are a series of short contests where a ‘jammer’ has to score points by lapping the other team. The opposition has to try and stop them while helping their own jammer get laps up. So you’re playing offence and defence at the same time.
Sadie Mason tells the ABC that she believes it to be the fastest growing women’s sport in the world.
As with most women’s sport (especially those just starting to grow on the world stage) the team’s involvement doesn’t come without cost – a very high cost in this case. The team has had to raise $50, 000 for their airfares alone. So coach, Samantha Burgess has been driving a lot of fundraising to get the girls the money so they can get over there.
Burgess says that taking a team of teenagers overseas is very expensive.
“Financially? Massive. We’ve done a lot of fundraising, sausage sizzles, bake sales, disco nights. We did a national raffle,” she told the ABC.