Roller derby brings out Nikki's Punk
NIKKI Long is kind of like a real- life superhero.
By day, she spends her time working as a professional wedding photographer and caring for two young daughters, Mackenna, 6, and Maddyson, 9.
But at night, she straps on her skates, applies her war paint, and becomes Duchess of Hazard, a fierce member of the Punk Blockers, one of the region's roller derby teams.
One of the fastest growing sports in the world, roller derby is flourishing in Ipswich as the home ground to the Brisbane City Rollers.
The game sees women from all walks of life, don naughty pseudonyms and quad roller skates to whiz around an indoor track at high speed and smash into each other.
The aim for each team is to get their "jammer" around the track first - the scoring player who earns points by lapping members of the rival team - while the remaining team members try to stop her by almost any means necessary.
It's fast-paced, it's ferocious and it's fantastically good fun, a bit like rugby on roller skates.
Mrs Long said her love of roller derby began in 2010 after she watched a game when she lived in Launceston in Tasmania.
"I didn't know the rules or anything about it when I went to my first game with my niece," she said.
"But when the bout began it looked so fun and exciting - who wouldn't love a sport that was full contact, action-packed and on skates? Three weeks later, I signed up for Fresh Meat - a training session for new roller derby skaters - and began playing for the Van Diemen Rollers."
The next Roller Derby event will take place on September 21 at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
The double header will feature a men's team clash featuring the Dark Nights against the Incredible Hulks. The game will be followed with the Punk Blockers taking on Newcastle's Dockyard Dames.