Meet the sportswomen mixing ice hockey and long jump - all on roller skates

Harrogate's Spa Town Roller Derby
Harrogate's Spa Town Roller Derby
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Roller Derby came to Harrogate three years ago, but until now the Spa Town Roller Girls have been an almost secret society of fast skaters and hard hitters.

Next month the curtain will be lifted and the excitement of the rapidly growing sport will be open for all to see.

Spectators can witness the action in Harrogate when the town’s Spa Town Roller Girls will take on the Fierce Valley Roller Girls.

The match, which takes place at Harrogate Ladies College on September 5, is the third stage of the T4 British Championships and Spa Town captain Nicole Turner said newcomers to the sport would not leave disappointed.

Turner said: “It would be amazing for the people of our home town to come and see us play.

“We’re in great form, having won three bouts in a row and it’s such a brilliant game to watch, we know they’ll fall in love with it.”

Roller derby is a sport which pulls together shoulder and hip checks often found in ice hockey, braced walls used by riot police and jumps that wouldn’t be out of place on the runway to the sand pit at the Olympics – all the while on quad roller skates.

Harrogate’s female-only team consists of over 20 skaters who batter and bruise each other in two 30 minute halves consisting of a number of two minute jams.

During each jam, five players from each team use offensive and defensive manoeuvres to help their point scorer (the Jammer) get through eight blockers (the Pack) while stopping the opposing Jammer from doing the same.

Once the jammer’s through, they race the oval track and rush to get through the pack again to pick up points.

Anyone keen to find out more about playing roller derby can drop into the girls’ training session at Harrogate Ladies College at 3.30pm on Sunday, September 6.

Visit www.spatownrollergirls.com for more information.