Roller derby enthusiasts gain momentum

ON A ROLL: Jackie Palmer and Kelleye Boland have put the call out to other local women interested in being part of roller derby in Griffith. Picture: Anthony Stipo

ON A ROLL: Jackie Palmer and Kelleye Boland have put the call out to other local women interested in being part of roller derby in Griffith. Picture: Anthony Stipo

A GRIFFITH woman hoping to bring a new sport to town is on a roll.

When Kelleye Boland put the call out for interest to start up a women’s roller derby competition last week she was surprised by the response.

“We only need 14 but I’ve already got 52 interested on Facebook,” she said.

“I was a bit worried when I first spoke about it. I didn’t think many local girls would be that interested.

“I’ve done a little bit in Brisbane and recently I went over to Leeton to watch the women there. Driving back to Griffith I hatched the plan to give it a go here.”

Ms Boland said despite it being early days the only thing standing in Griffith’s way was a suitable location to train and hold flat-track roller derby bouts.

“The basketball stadium has been approached and they said we could give it a try as long as we don’t scratch up the floor too much, but they don’t have many days available,” she said.

“You need a polished surface and somewhere that is nice and flat.

“I just really want to get it started here. We’ve definitely got interest, now we need a venue.”

Ms Boland described women’s roller derby as “empowering”.

“You have to be over 18, but you don’t even have to be able to skate because I’ll teach them,” she said.

“It is good for fitness and is fun. It is also excellent for building self-esteem.

“My alter ego is Skaty Puff. Roller derby can turn a mild-mannered mum or wife into a wild, fishnet-wearing thing on skates. 

“I’ve known women in their 60s, who do it and they are awesome. In Brisbane we had women from all walks of life doing roller derby.

“We use all of the right equipment like helmets, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and mouth guards. I love it, it is so much fun.”

A meet and greet is being held at the Griffith Ex-Servicemen’s Club this Sunday, June 1 at 10.30am to gauge interest. 

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