I went to a roller derby a few months ago, which was a surprisingly complex and entertaining sport. It’s a bit like american football, but both teams play offence and defence as the same time, and its always a rush, and everybody is on wheels.

Even though some of the play was rough, and I could imagine ankles twisting and snapping at any given moment, there was a genuine positivity to every team. Players travel across the region together to be hosted by other teams, adding a dynamic which is rather communal and sweet.

There were some eccentricities, in the bizarre (and perhaps intimidating) face/war-paint and also in that games are played to a soundtrack of pop-punk classics whilst commentary is delivered via loud speaker. 

And whilst I don’t mean this in a derogatory way, the sport welcomes those who were perhaps on the fringes of cliques and societies at school. The nerds, the oddballs, the guys who couldn’t play football or netball. They found their niche and it’s here with a large community of others.

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