With names like Soozy Slugworth, Leia Outflat, Dirty Deeds and Shoogah’n’Spite, you could be forgiven for being a little apprehensive about strapping skates on and getting in the ring with the ladies from the WA Roller Derby League.
In reality, though, the sport offers much more than an outlet for frustration and is a great workout, according to The Dread Pirate Rollers captain Susanne “Soozy Slugworth” Elliott.
The Kwinana-based derby team is on the lookout for new members and Elliot said anyone could come and join in the fun.
“We take ‘fresh meat’ who are new skaters all year round, so any session they can come and turn up,” she said.
“We train at The Zone in Kwinana on Mondays and Wednesdays 6pm to 9pm.
Mondays is all levels and we have a specialised fresh meat coach on that night so they’ll learn all the basics of stops, falls, how to skate properly in derby stance and all the things you need to be a derby skater.
“Wednesdays is more contact, strength and endurance focused and freshies are more than welcome to come and learn then as well but there’s no designated coach that night.”
Slugworth fell in love with the sport after trying it four years ago.
“It’s an escape for a lot of people and it’s their ‘me’ time because when you come and skate derby it’s not just to come do a sport and then go home, it becomes a lifestyle,” she said.
“So much about it encapsulates everything about who you are and it’s very empowering, you learn so much about yourself.
“If you go to the gym, no one’s going to care if you weren’t at the gym that day, but if you’re not at training someone will say ‘are you alright, why didn’t you come, come back next week and let’s push harder together’.”
Slugworth said there were specific rules and regulations to ensure player safety and newcomers did not have to compete until they were ready.
“The beauty of it is we have specific levels that you go through so when you join you’re fresh meat and you’re at that level for two months before you do an assessment which you can go through to the contact level so you don’t actually get hit until you’ve been on wheels for at least two months,” she said.
“Then you can choose to have L-plates on with us and you can choose when you do want to get hit.“You can take your L-plates off and get full contact when you’re ready, there’s no rush.”