It’s Europe’s fastest-growing female sport. It involves full-contact. And it’s played entirely on roller skates. Welcome to the world of roller derby. It started in London in 2006. Now, there are now over 100 leagues – and it’s still growing.
The sport needs no introduction for those who saw Drew Barrymore’s excellent, inspiring film Whip It!, but luckily, BBC iPlayer is on hand to give us one, with a brand new exclusive documentary.
The bespoke programme, released exclusively on the streaming site this weekend, follows two skaters, Kiki Kapow and Barbarsim, as their teams, Rainy City Roller Girls and the North Cheshire Victory Rollers, prepare to play each other for the first time at Europe’s only dedicated skate venue: the Thunderdome in Oldham.
The 20-minute film looks at the sport, the training and the determination involved – featuring a diverse mix of people who get involved in inclusive grass-roots sports – and sees Roller Derby played at its highest level.
Director Helen Richmond says: “I feel really passionate about equality, empowerment and people having their voices heard, and I found this within the Roller Derby community. It’s a unique sport for many reasons but especially for being female-driven and -dominated. It continues to mature and grow as a sport and I wanted everyone to see how amazing the people are who play it.”
Sharon Fuller, Project Lead for the BBC’s Get Inspired, says: “Get Inspired is always looking for fun and different ways for people to get active and that is why we love Roller Derby. It is an inclusive community that welcomes all shapes, all abilities and ages.”
Roller Derby: Skate Fast, Hit Hard is on BBC iPlayer here.