Roller derby makes a comeback
Recent roller derby events ('bouts' as they are called) at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and Wollongong's WIN Entertainment Centre confirm the rise in popularity of the sport.
In June, what is understood to be the biggest flattrack roller derby competition ever held outside of the United States took place in Adelaide. The all women's Great Southern Slam attracted skaters from two thirds of Australia and New Zealandâs 30 or so roller derby leagues, the 500 participants competing in what organisers claim is the fastest growing womenâs sport in the country.
The sport, one of the earliest forms of what is now known as 'sports entertainment', started in the USA in the 1930s. The popularity of roller derby peaked during the 1960s and 70s, during which time the sport had a strong following in Australia, but then rapidly declined. In 2001, the sport made a comeback in Texas and was quickly embraced as a grassroots women's sport across the world.
Ideal for small to medium sized sporting arenas and indoor stadia, the sport is best played on a sprung wooden floor. However, finding venues to train and compete is one of the biggest challenges facing the sport. While ideally suited to roller skating rinks, small number of such facilities, particularly in metropolitan areas, has made Australiaâs roller derby leagues very adaptable, particularly as the managers of some basketball stadia prefer not to have roller skates on their courts.
As 'Aprilla the Hun' of the Sydney Roller Derby League (SRDL) explains "when we started in 2007 we trained at the University of Sydney's HK Ward Gymnasium which could just about fit us and 50 spectators. After that we used the double basketball court at the Sydney Boys High School before moving to the Hordern Pavilion in May this year."
Since moving to the Hordern Pavilion, SRDL has staged four sell-out bouts, each with crowds of 2,500.
Similarly, the surging popularity of roller derby in Brisbane has seen the Northern Brisbane Rollers move up from local sports halls to become a regular presence at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
A combined bout linking the SRDL with leagues in Canberra, Newcastle, the Illawarra and Western Sydney was staged at Wollongong's WIN Entertainment Centre on 19th September.
The reemergence of roller derby is explored in a feature, 'Fishnets, Mouthguards and Athleticism' in the September/October 2010 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.
If you don't already receive the magazine, be sure you get your copy by subscribing here. Back issues are also available.
19th July 2010 - NO SLEAZE AT THE HORDERN PAVILION
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…read more
PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…read more
TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide. Our…read more
Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…read more
Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…read more
BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…read more
Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!