Rolling their way to the top

Roller derby skaters Charmaine Reveley (left) and Mel Huddy race along Portsmouth Dr in Dunedin yesterday. The pair have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Roller Derby World Cup next year. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Roller derby skaters Charmaine Reveley (left) and Mel Huddy race along Portsmouth Dr in Dunedin yesterday. The pair have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Roller Derby World Cup next year. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Two Dunedin women are blocking and jamming their way to the top of their sport.

Roller derby skaters Charmaine Reveley and Mel Huddy have been selected for the first time to represent New Zealand at the Roller Derby World Cup, in Manchester, England, in February.

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller-skating in the same direction around a track. A jammer scores by doing laps while avoiding blockers who attempt to knock them off course.

Miss Reveley, whose derby name is Little Yellow Jacket, is better known as a fashion designer, but has been involved in roller derby as a blocker for seven years.

Mrs Huddy, whose derby name is Axel Rose, has been involved for three years.

''It was unreal, but cool to be selected for the team,'' she said.

Mrs Huddy is a jammer, using speed and agility to slip through the opposing team's defence.

The pair's training had all been self-funded.

''We don't attract the same money as larger sports,'' Mrs Huddy said.

Roller derby is a growing sport.

The first world cup in 2011 attracted 13 countries and in 2014 the number had grown to 30.

This year, 40 countries will be challenging for the title, at present held by Team USA.

-By Simon Henderson

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