By Renee Ciesla
The Perth Men’s roller derby team is in full swing preparing the national competition in Adelaide later this month.
Over two days, eight teams from across Australia will battle it out in the third annual National Men’s Roller Derby Championships and WA’s vice-president Grant Stephenson said the team has been working hard to place again.
“WA gained a spot in the national placing last year, meaning we came from last place to second last place, which we were very happy about,” he said.
“Adelaide wasn’t though, because we’re the ones who beat them in the final and they have sworn to take it back this year.”
While the WA team struggles for numbers in comparison to Melbourne and Sydney, they have been putting extra effort into their training to ensure some fierce competition.
“We go through specific drills, offensive drills, jamming drills and different scenarios, we’ve got a few new players in the team so we’re trying to blend them into our pods,” Grant said.
Creating personas is an important element of the sport with each player given an identity through a nickname.
Anthony ‘Glewtius Maximous’ Glew, a newcomer to the sport, said it’s something you need to come down and try.
“You see people play it and you just go ‘I don’t get it’ but then you come down and start actually learning what’s going on, it’s great fun,” he said.
“I like the sport because it’s physical, not as in huge hitting, more physical as in an all-round work out and it’s freaking hard work.”
Roller derby is known for its gender inclusivity, but Grant said the men’s team has somewhat ‘softer’ names than the women’s.
“Mine’s ‘Sparkles’ and we’ve got ‘Roger that’ and ‘Cannon Bill’,” he said.
“We like to think of ourselves as the softer side of derby, but we have some skilful players too who can take and give a hit.
The competition takes place on the 26th and 27th of November at Adelaide’s Titanium Security Arena.
Photo gallery of the team training: