Southern Most Skaters host roller derby

Skating enthusiasts from across the South Island descended on Invercargill at the weekend for the city’s first roller derby competition.

The local team, Southern Most Skaters, promoted the first Deep South Debut event on Saturday in which visiting teams from Queenstown, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin took part.

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction on a track.

Games consist of a series of short matchups (jams), in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.

Members of the Southern Most Skaters (from left) Kim Howden, Molly Duthie, Adam Dackers, Angelo...
Members of the Southern Most Skaters (from left) Kim Howden, Molly Duthie, Adam Dackers, Angelo Obus (kneeling), Christine Livingstone and Melissa Helsby. PHOTOS: LUISA GIRAO
Coach Kim Howden was excited by the opportunity to host the first competition ever in the city.

"It is 10 years in the making. We’ve been trying to get a team playing and we are representing Southland and Invercargill for the first time so it is pretty amazing."

What had attracted her to the sport was its positivity, she said.

"You learn something new and it gives you such highs, you know. You feel powerful. You come out feeling strong and amazing."

She hoped the event would bring more exposure and skaters to the sport.

Players from Dead End Derby from Christchurch try to take over the Dunedin team’s Bonnie Brawlers.
Players from Dead End Derby from Christchurch try to take over the Dunedin team’s Bonnie Brawlers.
And it seemed yesterday she got two new recruits.

Invercargill pupils Mila Morfett and Charlotte Oliver (both aged 10) were watching their first roller derby competition.

"It is very cool to have this in Invercargill," Mila said.

Her friend agreed and said their favourite things were the action and the "funny names".

"It seems really fun to play. But we still need to come up with our [roller-derby] names," Charlotte said.

Invercargill girls Mila Morfett (left) and Charlotte Oliver watch roller derby for the first time...
Invercargill girls Mila Morfett (left) and Charlotte Oliver watch roller derby for the first time.
The Southern Most Skaters team asked anyone interested in taking part to approach them.

"We have skaters from all shapes and sizes ... You don’t need to be fit as long as you learn the skills to play it," Ms Howden said.

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz

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