Sparks are expected to fly when Croydon Roller Derby, still “exiled” in Haywards Heath, stage an international head-to-head against teams from Dublin on November 5.
Roller Derby is a high-speed, full-contact sport played on quad roller skates by two teams of five women skaters. Think of the vicious sport created for the sci-fi movie Rollerball, but without the balls. “Roller derby is a tactical game of simultaneous offence and defence that requires a lot of physical and mental strength,” according to the sport’s fans.
Croydon Roller Derby was formed in 2009, and they have two teams, with the top side, the Riot Squad, ranked 55th in Europe.
“This is the first time Croydon and Dublin have met on the track so it’s guaranteed to be a nail-biting game,” said Riot Squad captain Emma Dyduch.
“We love playing European teams, for us the opposition is really unknown so we don’t know what to expect on the track, but it’s all part of the fun. I am confident in my teammates and the hard work and dedication we have put in over the past year.”
Originally formed in south London, Croydon Roller Derby stages its matches at The Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath. For the Dublin fixture, after Croydon’s B team Vice Squad take on Dublin’s C-Lions, the Riot Squad will then face off against Dublin’s Beamies.
Tickets are £8 in advance, or £9.50 on the day, and kids get in for £5. Croydon are offering four advance tickets for £24.
Croydon Roller Derby is also gearing up for its recruitment day on November 18, so the Dublin game will offer a great opportunity to come down and see what this exciting new sport is all about.
“I would urge anyone thinking of coming to try-outs to watch Croydon’s superstars on the track,” says Debbie Wiles, Croydon’s head of recruitment.
“It’s a great way to meet the league and some of our current rookies will be on hand to answer any questions you might have. You’re basically guaranteed to fall in love with this sport.”
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