Derby nothing to dread


Bree Spencer – AKA Bloody Bree. Picture: Jon Hewson                                                                                      www.communitypix.com.au           d449708
Bree Spencer – AKA Bloody Bree. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au        d449708

As a full contact sport with the added challenge of roller skates, roller derby can be a little scary but fresh meat co-ordinator Sarah Butler – AKA Bonnie Rotten – said there is 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, Ms 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. Roller derby is a big commitment,” she said.

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

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

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

But not all positions involve contact, with the Dread Pirates also looking to recruit a number of 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.”

Ms 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.”

The Dread Pirates, who train in Kwinana and Armadale, are hosting an info night on Monday, February 15, at The Zone in Kwinana from 6.30pm.