AUSSIE CALL UP: Sean ’HP Shovecraft’ Dowling, James ’Copter’ Higgins, Mat ’Fuzz’ Walker and Glen ’RPG’ Sage are going to the men’s roller derby world cup in Birmingham.
AUSSIE CALL UP: Sean ’HP Shovecraft’ Dowling, James ’Copter’ Higgins, Mat ’Fuzz’ Walker and Glen ’RPG’ Sage are going to the men’s roller derby world cup in Birmingham. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich men answer call-up for Roller Derby World Cup

MEET the four Ipswich roller derby stars that are set to pack a real punch on the track when they compete at the inaugural Men's Roller Derby World Cup.

Sean 'HP Shovecraft' Dowling, James 'Copter' Higgins, Mat 'Fuzz' Walker and Glen 'RPG' Sage are set to create havoc at the tournament to be held in Birmingham from March 14-16, where 11 teams will contest the world titles.

The QT caught up with 'Copter' Higgins who gave us a run-down on what to expect from his teammates.

"HP Shovecraft is quite small, but he packs a punch," he said.

"RPG is one of the fastest skaters on the team and being hit by Fuzz is like being hit by a truck."

Copter is the biggest member of the 'jawsome foursome', and he is not on the track for decoration.

"I like to think that I am out here to block like a truck as well," he grinned.

The sport is a thrilling one to compete in.

"After every game you always feel like it is exhilarating to play," Copter said.

"It is very rough and exhausting and requires a high level of fitness.

"It is a team sport so there is a real sense of camaraderie on the track. It is a real honour to be selected and we are stoked that so many of our guys got on the team.

"The US and Canada, where the sport is well established, will be the two nations to watch. At the Women's World Cup, Australia came fourth behind the US, Canada and the UK.

"I think the men's results will be similar, so if we can get fourth that will be pretty good. If we can do better than fourth, that will be excellent."

The players train three times a week at the Ipswich Showgrounds and are all from the Brisbane City Rollers, a roller derby league that is based in Ipswich.

Brisbane City Rollers publicity officer Mia Ristovska said the Ipswich-based players' national team call-up showed how far the sport had progressed.

"This is the first time the World Cup has been held for men and it really shows how far roller derby has come," she said.

"Brisbane City Rollers has been around for five years and we were one of the first leagues in Australia to incorporate men into roller derby."

ROLLER DERBY

  • A contact sport
  • Played by two teams of five members roller skating the same way around a track.
  • Game consists of a series of jams where teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
  • The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer
  • Roller derby is played by about 1250 amateur leagues worldwide


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