I was excited to chat with Vanessa AKA “Shredz” from Convict City Rollers as Roller Derby is something I’ve always been fascinated with.
I really wanted to find out what it’s all about and how I could go about getting involved.
The not as scary as she looks on the rink Shredz was kind enough to answer all my questions!
What is Roller Derby?
Roller derby can be described as a point scoring race on quad skates with elements of rugby, chess, endurance and even judo. It is classed as an extreme sport. It is full contact and the fastest growing women’s sport in the world – there are 6 leagues in Tasmania (including juniors and men’s leagues), around 200 leagues in Australia and 1250 in the world.
How did you get involved?
I saw a flyer for Convict City’s Fresh Meat course and was curious as I’d skated as a kid and loved it. I joined the league’s second intake 5 years ago, and am currently coaching the 16th group of future derby stars. I have captained our travel team, toured western America and skated in Las Vegas, as well as made a ton of amazing friends I never would’ve met in normal life. Derby has an amazingly inclusive community, and added to the thrill and adrenaline of the sport makes it something I never want to quit!
How long have the Convict City Roller Derby been around?
Convict City Rollers started at the end of 2009. The Convicts played 2 games in 2010 and 16 games in 2014, and is currently ranked 12th team in Australia. CCRDL is the only league in Tasmania to get Women’s Flat Track Derby Association apprentice status (WFTDA is the sport’s highest governing body).
What should someone do if they want to give it a go?
You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come chat to me or my teammate Crack at the Expo! We welcome people 18+ (if you’re not 18 yet we can refer you to Hobart Junior Roller Derby). Men can train with us until they pass minimum skills, when we send them off to Tas Men’s Roller Derby or rope them into becoming referees. People can join as referees, skaters and non skating officials also. We have two more Fresh Meat intakes this year so get in touch!
Do they have to be a great skater already?
Our Fresh Meat course is scaled to all levels of fitness – we recommend extra skating outside of derby practice as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle (including squats or any balance/stability to begin with).
If you have zero skating experience – I would recommend preparing yourself for the course by heading to the rink to skate a few laps beforehand. Any exercise* you do outside derby will work in your favour. The course is an intro to derby skating and does not include any contact with other skaters. We focus on stability, safety and confidence on skates!
*especially plyometric, strength and stretching!
What’s your number 1 Health & Fitness tip?
Don’t skip leg day!
Be sure to visit Shredz and Crack at the expo and talk to them about the next fresh meat intake!