Bristol’s fastest growing sport has swapped skates for trainers by entering a team to take part in the Great Bristol 10K.
Bristol Roller Derby will field a team of around ten skaters to take part in the run which takes place on Sunday, May 15, raising money for the league’s charity of the year, Southmead Project.
“There are two A-Team skaters, five B-Team and two men taking part,” says A-Team member Claire Sharpe. “It’s something for us all to do together. This will be the eighth 10K for one of our skaters, she does half-marathons and marathons.
“She’s not fussed if we’re there or not and she’ll probably run faster than all of us anyway. We’ve got one skater who’s running for a children’s charity at the hospital as she had her child premature, and we have a chosen charity that the league supports so some of us will run for that, but we’re all going to run in our BRD t-shirts together.”
There is method in Bristol Roller Derby’s skaters taking part in the run around the city – all members need to be physically fit and a recent change of position has given Claire reason to increase her training.
“It’s the fastest growing sport on the planet,” said Claire. “It’s a full contact sport. You have to be a little fitter and stronger.
“You have blockers and jammers and I’ve just started training as a jammer, I’m normally a blocker but this involves a lot more cardio, so I’m having to start running regularly to up my game.”
The decision to take part in the Great Bristol 10K has been made all the more challenging with the news that the Bristol Roller Derby A-Team will be in British Championship the day before the event.
In a sport where injuries are commonplace, there might be a few drop-outs on the day.
“We’ll have competed the day before,” says Claire. “The rest of them will be fine but two of us might be a bit dead. That’ll be interesting.
“We said we’d do it if it wasn’t on the same day and we were waiting for the game dates to be confirmed. It wasn’t on the same day so we had to eat our hat on that one.
“It’s mostly ankles and knees are the worst things that happen and that’s because of the skates and tripping over people. There’s other injuries like sprained muscles and bruises, and that kind of thing.
“People crumple their shoulders and stuff like that. There’s a wide range and a range of severity too. Our accident book does not make nice reading. We’ve always got to have lots of ice packs on hand.
“I’d rather do the 10k on roller skates. 100 per cent. It would be so much easier.”
Read more: We’re on a roll with Bristol Roller Derby