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Other Sports - 20. April 2009.

London Rollergirls, Championship Final and European Tournament

The London Rollergirls’ first full season is reaching its climax with our Championship Final on 25 April and a European Tournament we’re hosting on the 18th and 19th of July.

We reckon this is the perfect time to bust out a full feature on the London Rollergirls, our three league teams, and the way the sport is spreading like wildfire in the UK and Europe.


25 April, 4pm, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, Philip Lane, Tottenham, London N15 4JA, £10 adv/£12 on door, www.londonrollergirls.com

A recap: London’s three teams (Suffra Jets, Ultraviolent Femmes and Steam Rollers) have each gone head to head in an hour-long bout. The Suffra Jets emerged undefeated, and the Steam Rollers rolled over the Femmes in February, which means the Suffra Jets and Steam Rollers will be going head to head in April for the final deciding bout.

Expect hundreds of fans decked out in team colours (we had more than 600 spectators at the last game ), DJs playing punk, rock and pop, an afterparty, BYO booze, spine-crunching rollergirl-on-rollergirl hits, our legendary cupcake stall, merch, announcers giving live play-by-play commentary and the best derby you’ll see this side of the Atlantic.



18th – 19th July, www.rollbritannia.com


The next major date in our calendar is the European roller derby tournament we’re hosting in July, where teams from across the continent will battle it out for a chance at glory. We’ll keep you posted on details, but wanted to give you a heads up on this – it’s the first time an event of this kind has happened in Europe, ever, and it’s an example of how quickly roller derby is growing as a serious competitive sport.


What’s roller derby again?

It's an all-female sport played with two teams of four skating around a elliptical track, and one point-scorer (the "jammer") trying to battle her way past them all and lap them as many times as she can. The jammer gets one point for each opposing player she passes. You can't trip, grab or punch, but you can shove opposing players off the track using hips or shoulders, and try and knock them off balance. It originated in 1930s America, but there’s been a major new revival that started in Texas in 2001.


And who are the London Rollergirls?

The London Rollergirls formed in April 2006 to bring roller derby to the UK. We're made up of three permanent teams (Suffra Jets, Ultraviolent Femmes and Steam Rollers) and an all-star travel team (London Brawling) that plays teams from other cities around the world. London Brawling is currently undefeated against Glasgow's Irn Bruisers, Team Canada and the Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames. We play to 600-capacity sell-out crowds at games (called "bouts") that also include DJs spinning rock, pop and punk; charity raffles; prizes; cupcakes; a fine merch stand and a riotous afterparty.

As a league we are always expanding, and we love training up brand new rollergirls and refs to join our ranks.

What else is happening in 2009?

6 June: London Brawling v Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, N15 4JA

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photos Janos Schmidt 

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