Short skirts, athleticism and roller skates – roller derby has finally its way into Wellington.
This month the capital’s very own league – Richter City Roller Derby – will host its first ever bout: Richter City Shakedown: The Grudgemaker. In an event you’d be crazy to miss, the crowd will be treated to a furious combination of speed, theatricality and full contact blows.
Roller derby is a full contact women’s sport on roller skates. The game is scored on a points basis, with skaters racing in teams around the track.
“This is not an event for the faint-hearted. The skaters have been training intensely since 2007 and now we’re ready to show Wellington what’s on offer – seismic entertainment off the Richter Scale!” says bout MC and rollergirl, Ginger Tonyx.
The Grudgemaker promises to be a nail-biting hour long clash between the leopard-skin-bedecked team Smash Malice and the furious flounces of rivals Brutal Pageant, complete with half-time entertainment.
“These talented ladies know each other’s weaknesses and skating styles inside and out. They will rip into each other on the rink and it will be wild,” says Ginger.
Roller derby and New Zealand is a story just beginning to be told. A sport unlike any other, it challenges conventional ideas about women’s sports and redefines the space between athleticism and theatricality.
Roller derby experienced a contemporary revival in 2001 in Texas, USA. The sport quickly spread across the globe, eventually landing in New Zealand in 2006 with the establishment of Auckland’s Pirate City Rollers. Since then, leagues have popped up in Christchurch, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Whangarei and of course Wellington.