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Oxford Rollers take no prisoners
11:00am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
THE fast-paced and occasionally brutal sport of roller derby is being showcased on Sky’s extreme sports channel by a group of Oxford women.
The Oxford Roller Derby team were filmed at their Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre headquarters for the series Roller Derby ‘Til I Die.
The series starts on Friday at 9pm – and the team is one of 15 UK teams filmed for the show playing the latest craze.
Firefighter Ellie Hathaway, from Glanville Road, Cowley, was one of the group filmed on March 31.
The 30-year-old said: “Just seeing ourselves on national TV and saying, “Oh look, that’s Blackbird Leys, our home track”, will be exciting. We will probably be crowded around the screen together screaming at the TV.
“Just being part of it and Oxford being part of the rise of roller derby will be amazing.”
Oxford has got caught up in the craze, with the Oxford outfit growing from 10 in 2010 to more than 50 women this year. The club is now forming a second team to keep up with demand.
Captain Christina Dold, from Cowley, said: “You feel like a kid again, racing around as quickly as you can.
“It can be dangerous, but you never want to give the impression that it is all blood and gore because it is quite tactical. You do have to be brave though; it is not for the weak. It is pretty exciting it’s on TV because it is quite a low profile sport.”
The 29-year-old Oxford University scientist has been playing for two years. Her team will be on TV in episode five of the series on November 1.
Their coach Marie Phillips, nicknamed the French Revolution, was picked in August to play for Team France.
And she could be chosen go to the roller derby World Cup in Dallas 2014.
The 29-year-old lab technician from Blackbird Leys said: “I like the mixture of strong team spirit and the thrill of knocking people down and falling over yourself.”
The Oxford Roller Derby team are also hosting the Western division finals of Europe’s largest interleague roller derby tournament on Sunday at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre.
Roller derby is a skating sport played by two teams battling on an oval track.
Each match is an hour long and played in two 30-minute halves. Points are scored by lapping opposition players.
A jammer, with a star on their helmet, tries to pass the rival players while the four blockers try to stop them passing.
Players can be knocked down, held behind the body. They cannot be hit over the shoulder, under the knees or in the back. You cannot hit with knees, hands, elbows or heads. Rule infringements earn a one-minute departure from the track. If you break them seven times, you are expelled from the game.
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