Battlestars set to keep derby rolling

24 September 2014

Recently, Australia has seen a significant rise in popularity of the female-dominated sport, roller derby.

Currently there are 130 roller derby leagues that have formed across the country.

Lismore is home to the Battlestar Gallaticas of Northern Rivers Roller Derby (NRRD). The women that form this high-energy team describe the sport as a “very strategic game”.

“The more you watch it, the more you can see the strategy,” said team player, Scaryish.

This energy and the uniqueness of the sport are complimented by the skater names and personas each of the players adopt once they take the track.

“It’s very important for all of the girls to have a stage name, an alias we call it,” said player, Kimmando Karnage.

Names like Twisted Knickers, Moley Meldrum, Psycho Cindy and AmazonAgetyA give the players the opportunity to take on a different personality on the track, and also reflect upon the previous derby culture of being “staged” and a “spectacle”.

Another aspect of derby that has carried over from when it was first created in the 1930s is the intense sets of rules each of the players have to abide by.

The rules of roller derby can be somewhat hard to follow. Source: NRRD

However, despite whether or not you know the rules, those interested in full contact sports that require a high level of skill can still enjoy roller derby.

A particular topic that sparked a significant amount of controversy amongst the Battlestars was the idea of men joining roller derby.

“It’s a women’s sport, we created this, men have enough sports,” one player quipped.

A point that was-well justified by one of NRRD’s more senior members, Psycho Cindy.

“You can be any size and any shape, and you’re needed in derby,” she said, “It's an opportunity for women that you don’t get in other sports where you have to have this picture perfect figure.”

In July this year, the Battlestars packed their skates and made the trip to the Great Southern Slam in Adelaide, it was the culmination of months of fundraising and years of training for the Northern Rivers team.

Have a listen to find out more.