Today I got my first experience of Roller Derby, by attending the Mens Roller Derby Association World Championship right here in Cwmbran, with Jessica in the Mayoral capacity.
Now before finding out that we had been invited to attend, I had heard of roller derby, but had absolutely no idea what it was, and as it was a sport that wasn’t featured in the Welsh PE curriculum, so I took to google and then youtube to see what I was in store for, and discovered that roller derby is a pretty violent contact sport played by two teams roller skating in the same direction (counter-clockwise) around a track. Game play consists of a series of short match ups, which are known as jams, in which both teams pick a “jammer” who will attempt to score points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to stop the opposing teams “jammer” while assisting their own effectively, playing both offence and defence simultaneously.
It was good fun to watch, the teams all skated with remarkable grace, and I have to admit that I did quite get into it especially during the bust ups that ensue with any contact sport where rivalries abound.
I’m also quite proud that Cwmbran was able to host such a tournament, as its the first time that it has been held outside the United States, and shows how the sport is growing in popularity and prestige around the rest of the world.