Roller Derby Championship kicked off in Sheffield

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls lost their first ever game in the second tier of the British Roller Derby Championships this weekend.

The Sheffield team were promoted from the third tier last season, playing their first game against the more experienced Auld Reekie All-Star Reserves on Saturday.

The final score put the visitors on top at 134-161.

What is Roller Derby?

 

 

 

 

 

This year marks the Sheffield team’s 10-year anniversary, having grown from a small local team to a contender in the UK’s second highest league in less than a decade.

Captain Phillippa Cheshire, known in Roller Derby as Pippa Armi, said: “We went from a team of five people learning from YouTube, and now we have over 70 members.”

“I really like the physical aspect. I like that it doesn’t feel like exercise – I just come and have some fun, and I roller skate and get to hit people.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexa Christou, whose daughter used to be on the team, said: “I fell in love with the sport, it’s an absolutely brilliant sport which engages lots and lots of different types of people.

“It’s attractive to people from all walks of life, all body shapes, all genders. There isn’t an expectation of what an athlete should look like – all you need to be able to do is get on four wheels.”

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls’ next game is on 15 April at Wirral Savage Lilies against Norfolk Roller Derby, also called The Norfolk Brawds.

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls v Auld Reekie All-Star Reserves

Newcomer to the sport, Jocelyn Gittins, said: “From my first session, as soon as I left I thought I can’t wait to come back”

After a week of playing the sport, she explained how the sessions build up to the contact version, first improving skate skills then introducing contact off skates before contact on skates.

Sheffield Steel Rollergirls v Auld Reekie All-Star Reserves

Sonia Twigg

MA Journalism, Sheffield University @sonia_255