Devil State Derby League to host four games at Westbury on April 21

Roller derby provides a level of escapism for competing players, and provides an alternative to the drudgery of working 9-5 life.

The unique sport provides camaraderie and inclusiveness for competing women, according to Devil State Derby League member Tina Evans.

Ms Evans is the secretary of the Devil State Derby League – a roller derby club based in Launceston – who will compete against four other teams in a one-day extravaganza on April 21. 

The upcoming bout will be held at the Westbury Sports Centre and will pit DSDL against three Tasmanian teams and a club coming from Geelong.

Roller derby was invented in 1935 in Chicago and is currently played by 5000 clubs around the world. 

It is played on an oval-shaped track and sees two five-person teams face-off as one designated member of each team, called a “jammer” tries to overtake the opposing team. 

“It’s a full contact sport on roller skates,” Ms Evans said.

“It’s the most fun sport to play and watch – you don’t even have to know what’s going on when you’re watching it to enjoy it.”

“It’s a really inclusive sport, because you don’t have to be the most athletic person in the world to play,” she said.

“It’s also really empowering – there are not many things like this that women can compete in.

“There’s such a great level camaraderie involved, where we all try to support each other.”

A part of the sport’s inclusivity is that skaters of all abilities and levels are welcomed, according to Ms Evans. 

She said for most beginners it takes about a year to become confident to play the unique sport. 

“A lot of people are scared to try it, because they are not good skaters or don’t know how to skate,” she said.

“That’s why we regularly have ‘fresh meat’, where people are taught how to skate, stop and be safe.

“It takes about one year of practicing and skating to actually get into playing.”

The bout will start at 10am, entry is $10 for adults and free for children under 12 for all games.  For more information, contact Ms Evans on devilstatederbyleague@gmail.com