The Dolly Rockit Rollers are Leicestershire’s first roller derby league (N.B. In roller derby the term “league” has a meaning closer to that of the word “team” in most other sports!).
They skate all-female flat track roller derby to the rules of the US-based Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), roller derby’s equivalent of the NFL or NBA, and are currently comprised of A- and B- travel teams (who play against the travel teams of other leagues in inter-league competition) and two intraleague teams (who play each other in exhibition games). At present they have around 70 active players, with experience levels ranging from total rookies to established international skaters.
DRR were formed in early 2010 by league directors Slamabama and Nitro Noush (most roller derby skaters skate under a pseudonym), who were both living in Leicester but skating with Birmingham’s Central City Rollergirls at the time. Leicester has a strong roller skating tradition thanks to the late Granby Halls roller rink, and the Dollies benefited from excellent skater recruitment rates.
The first DRR exhibition game was held in September 2010, and the first interleague game (a narrow loss to the (Newcastle Roller Girls) occurred a month later. Since then the Dollies have gone from strength to strength on the track, notching up a record of nine wins and three losses in 2011. In September 2011 the league was admitted to the United Kingdom Roller Derby Association (UKRDA), and were invited to play in the UKRDA’s Tattoo Freeze championship tournament in January 2012, after ranking in the top eight Association members following a members poll. Capping an excellent year, longstanding DRR A-teamers Rogue Runner and Holly Sheet were called up to the England and Ireland roller derby squads respectively for the 2011 Word Cup in Toronto, Canada.
2012 looks to be another exciting year for the Dollies, as they look to build on their appearance at Tattoo Freeze at the beginning of the year (they were eventually eliminated by Edinburgh’s Auld Reekie Rollergirls, one of the strongest teams in Europe and a full member of WFTDA) with a packed bouting schedule for all of the league’s teams, including the A-team’s first ever bout against international opposition in the form of June’s game against the Helsinki Rollergirls.
If you want to see the Dollies in action their next two bouts in Leicester include the Helsinki matchup above, but before that they host the Liverpool Roller Birds on Saturday 21 April at 1:30pm (doors open 1pm). The Dollies take to the track at Parklands Leisure Centre in Oadby, Leicester.
We’re ramping up or coverage of UK Roller Derby from here on in and have created a UK Roller Derby page. We are also inviting beat writers to get in touch. If you represent or follow a UK Roller Derby league and have strong, engaging writing skills then why not apply to be your league’s beat writer here on the site. Send a sample of your writing (300-500 words) by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep it here for more Roller Derby action as our very own Katy gets to grips with life with the Newcastle Roller Girls! Her first installment will be with you very, very soon,