Nothing to dread about roller derby

Bree Spencer (AKA Bloody Bree) of Seville Grove.
Picture: Jon Hewson   d449708
Bree Spencer (AKA Bloody Bree) of Seville Grove. Picture: Jon Hewson d449708

Dread Pirates member and Seville Grove resident Bree Spencer (AKA Bloody Bree) embraced the tough nature of the sport, especially when compared to more traditional women’s sports such as netball.

“I’m very much a pacifist but when it comes to derby it doesn’t feel like I’m being aggressive, it’s more about being physical and using my body in different ways,” she said.

“It’s really, really empowering to know that I can bump this person this certain way and they’re going to go flying. It’s really awesome.”

However, not all positions involve contact. The Dread Pirates, which train in Kwinana and Armadale, are also looking to recruit officials and even men.

“We’re not looking for people who are super-fit or amazing on skates. I mean it’s great if you are, but we’re looking for people who are committed and ready to learn,” Spencer said.

Spencer said playing roller derby for the Dread Pirates did not just help her get fitter but also helped make more friends.

“Everyone at derby is so incredible, so welcoming, so inclusive. We don’t care how old you are or where you are in life,” she said.

“It’s like a family. Your Facebook friend total will go through the roof because everyone loves everyone.”

As a full contact sport with the added challenge of roller skates, roller derby can be a little scary but recruitment co-ordinator Sarah Butler (AKA Bonnie Rotten) said there was no need to be intimidated.

“People can be a little scared of roller derby, but there’s no need. There are rules in place to keep everybody safe,” she said.

Despite appearances, Butler said a lot of hard work went into getting ready to compete and everyone appreciated each other’s effort.

“Some people come on board thinking it’s all fishnets and glitter but there’s some really hard work to be done,” she said.

“Roller derby is great for fitness and strength but there is also a massive sense of belonging not only within our league but the entire roller derby community.

“Games are ended with hugs and high fives and any disagreements stay on the track.”