In November, US players from New York Gotham Girl’s Roller Derby and the LA Derby Dolls will battle it out with some of Australia’s top players in a live series.
Roller Derby Xtreme will see iconic players from both the US and Australian roller derby scenes compete in bouts along the Australia’s east coast on a banked track.
For those who think the US girls may be as aggressive as those portrayed in Drew Barrymore’s roller derby film, Whip It, LA Derby Dolls player Gori Spelling told the Star Observer the Australian girls would fit in fine.
“We don’t punch each other,” Spelling said.
“We don’t pull each other down and fight, that’s embellished a bit for the movie.
“Derby girls are derby girls, they skate flat track in Australia and they’ll fit right in with us.”
One of the key differences about this live series will be the bouts played on banked tracks which are the classic roller derby tracks that have not been played on in Australia for almost 30 years.
The tracks have been custom-built locally for this tour and will be pulled apart and reassembled at each city.
“If you skate it properly, you can get some really great momentum and get going really fast,” she said.
Spelling said the Australian players will have to go through a boot camp with “the best trainers that we have” to get them ready for banked track roller derby, as opposed to flat track.
“They will be in very good, capable hands and they will teach them everything they need to know in a very short amount of time,” she said.
“Going from flat track to banked, it is different timing on hits and evading hits, so there is quite a bit to learn.”
Spelling said she was amazed for the opportunity to visit Australia.
“I’m really excited to skate with some Australian players because I honestly don’t know much about the scene in Australia, I’m thrilled to meet some girls,” she said.
The series will travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Newcastle and the Gold Coast throughout November and December.
Australia is home to the fastest growing roller derby communities outside of the US, with about 80 leagues along the east coast and around 250,000 members.
The Roller Derby Xtreme tour starts in Sydney on November 21 and ends on the Gold Coast on December 1.