Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Roller derby league seeks new members

Roller derby league seeks new members

Rotorua’s roller derby league, the Sulphur City Steam Rollers (SCSR) are undergoing their second recruitment drive of the year and invite members of the public along to their information evening.

The league has been running since 2011 but has been steadily growing since 2013 and now has over 30 full members.

This is due in part to running regular recruitment drives which offer those interested in playing roller derby to take part in a 14 week course. During the ‘Groupies’ phase of their training, members learn basic skating skills including how to stop and fall safely as well as correct skating technique and partake in endurance training. Toward the end of the course they learn skills specific to roller derby including advancing to full contact training, hitting (using their bodies) and basic scrimmage skills.

SCSR co-founder Layla Robinson whose skater name is Primevil, and experienced skater Nat Calder (AKA Nat Damon) are the Groupies’ coaches and along with other members of the league spend many hours on building strong foundations for their skaters.

Once the Groupies have reached the end of their course, they sit the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association’s Internationally recognised ‘Basic Skills Test’ which enables them to further their training within the league.

For many members, from the first official training to their first game can take a minimum of eight months.

“Roller derby isn’t a sport we grew up playing like netball or rugby, so the rules generally aren’t familiar.” Mrs Robinson explains. “The bouts are not televised and the fictitious stories of roller derby seen in movies are a far cry from the real thing! Modern derby follows an intensive rule set and our skaters are expected to have an excellent knowledge of this before ‘popping their bout cherry’ (playing their first game)”.

While co-ed leagues are becoming more popular worldwide, SCSR are currently fostering all-women roller derby and invite women and those who identify as such to attend their Info Night & Skate With Us session. But men aren’t excluded entirely! Men and women who have an interest in Refereeing or becoming a Non-skate Official are welcome along too.

A roller derby Referee is a highly respected member of the derby community. During a bout, there are up to seven Referees on the track the entire time. SCSR Referees initially undergo similar physical training as skaters without the contact aspect. Instead, Head Referee Andrea Colledge (AKA Scorpy-Ho) focuses more time on teaching the rules and various calls, whistles and signals Referees are expected to make during a bout.

To attend the Sulphur City Steam Rollers Info Night & Skate With Us session, head to Waiariki Polytechnic’s Recreation Centre on Mokoia Drive at 6:30pm on Monday 14 September. For more information, visit the league’s Facebook page: or email:


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland