By Peter Hampshire
Halifax Bruising Banditas are relishing the prospect of entering UK Roller Derby’s third tier as they travel to face Granite City to start their new season following promotion last season.
Famed for its high intensity, tactical nous and heavy-handed combative nature, Roller Derby consists of two 30-minute halves, comprising of “Jams” of up to 2 minutes in which points are on offer. Teams rotate on the track in packs of five, with four blockers trying to stop the jammer.
Roller Derby is enjoying a boost in popularity of late, with many inspired by the 2009 film ‘Whip It’. On the nationwide development of the sport, Banditas coach Ash Walker said: “There are teams everywhere from Scotland down to London, all getting bigger and better.”
The ladies team from Calderdale have been together for 6 years now and this winter had to put their first cap on the number of new recruits. With a current squad of 30 travelling as far as Aberdeen to play and training twice a week, Roller Derby represents a commitment but is one that skater ‘Trauma Call’ feels has been well worth it.
She said: “It’s really empowering as a woman to play that kind of sport and it sounds cheesy but it has totally changed my life.”