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Fishnets fly for Ipswich roller girls

Tari Bowling ‘Sweet Meat’, Penny Glasswell ‘Penergy’, Nia Christy ‘Alison Chainsaw’ and Rachel Mackie ‘Demolition Girl’ prepare for upcoming roller derby bout.
Tari Bowling ‘Sweet Meat’, Penny Glasswell ‘Penergy’, Nia Christy ‘Alison Chainsaw’ and Rachel Mackie ‘Demolition Girl’ prepare for upcoming roller derby bout. Claudia Baxter

IPSWICH roller girls have a message for Gold Coast’s derby league: You better be quaking in your fishnets.

Ipswich’s roller derby league – Brisbane City Rollers – has been working its collective butts off in preparation for their very first interleague competition, or “bout”, against Gold Coast Roller Derby this month.

Roller derby is a fast-paced, full-contact sport which requires speed strategy and athleticism – and while it is traditionally women-only, Ipswich’s league also accepts male skaters.

The game involves a fair sprinkling of spectacle and plenty of fishnet stockings but skaters must also have a high level of fitness and agility to weave through the pack on quad skates.

Tari “Sweet Meat” Bowling, 31, said members of the Ipswich and Gold Coast leagues had skated on the same side during previous show bouts.

But Ms Bowling said there was still a healthy amount of friendly rivalry between the leagues.

“Expect the unexpected because no one’s ever seen us officially bout before,” she said.

Penny “Penergy” Glasswell, 24, said both leagues would “bring it” to the bout on May 29.

“Both leagues are going to be out to justify our place in Queensland roller derby,” Miss Glasswell said.

Rachel “DemolitionGirl” Mackie, 36, said BCR was currently looking for a bouting venue in the Ipswich and Brisbane areas so the league could hold local bouts.

Ms Bowling said derby girls came from a wide range of backgrounds and the sport was rapidly attracting new fans.

“Recent bouts that are not heavily advertised have 4000 people turning up and they’re turning people away,” she said.

The bout – Shove Thy Neighbour – will be held at Carrara Sports Complex at the Gold Coast on Saturday, May 29.

Tickets, available on the door, cost $10 for adults and kids aged under 12 enter free.

BCR’s next “freshmeat” intake for new skaters is on May 23 from 4.45pm at Bundamba Skateaway.

On a roll ...

Roller derby was invented in the 1930s and evolved from marathon races.

The sport’s popularity was at an all-time high in the 60s and 70s when competitions were broadcast on TV.

Roller derby was revived in Texas and has swept across the US and Australia.



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