There’s been an exciting development in sport in Brighton recently. No, I’m not talking about the new Falmer stadium for Brighton & Hove Albion, I’m talking about Brighton’s Roller Derby team, The Brighton Rockers! Roller derby is a highly physical contact sport played by two teams of roller skaters going in the same direction around a track.
The sport has its roots in roller skating marathons of the 1930s. Before long it had become sports entertainment – like wrestling, where theatrical elements outshone the athleticism. The sport has grown in popularity in recent years, retaining colourful costumes and pseudonyms but doing away with rehearsed, theatrical performances. Today the sport is dominated by all-female teams, and is currently being considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.
A roller derby team consists of 5 players, with a jammer (point scorer), a pivot (director) and three blockers. The pivot and the blockers form a wall which the jammers need to pass through to score points. This gang will then try to support their jammer or block the opposition’s jammer. Jammers score a point for each opponent which they pass on the track.
Last year The Brighton Rockers hosted the Dublin Roller Girls in their first international game at Roller Central in Shoreham-by-Sea. They are regularly looking for new members or “fresh meat”, and simply require relatively fit individuals who have full protective gear including elbow and knee pads. Roller derby is a very physical sport.
Once they have completed the training of their latest recruits they will be looking for more ‘Fresh Meat’ later in the summer. Any wannabe derby girls must be proficient skaters who experienced in falling safely. Endurance, agility and strength are all qualities which are highly saught-after. Quads, helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and gum shields should be worn. Roller derby is fun, but it is also serious, promoting physical fitness, comradeship and team spirit. The Brighton Rockers are also looking for referees, officials, timekeepers and other assistance for anyone who wants to help out.
The Brighton Rockers recently took on the London Roller Girls ‘Batter-C Power’ team in their first home game of the 2012 season. The Brighton Rockers took the game 223 to 192, and the game was followed by roller disco, food stalls, trinket vendors, a half time show and even a raffle. The community is embracing its new roller derby team, especially when they are on a winning streak!