Get Inspired: Why do these four women love roller derby?

Roller derby non-skating official, Dena, Roller derby referee, Gill, Roller derby skaters Katy and Nicola

If you're wondering if Roller Derby is for you, the answer is yes!

Whether you are looking for a reason to learn to roller skate, you want the rush of a competitive game or you fancy volunteering on wheels, there is a way into roller derby for you.

If you still need convincing, we asked some women to tell us why they love being involved in Roller Derby, and this is what they said...

Dena, Honor Rampage #181, Head Non-skating Official (NSO)

Roller derby non-skating official, Dena

Dena was training to be a roller derby skater for Central City Rollergirlsexternal-link but had to take a break from it for a bit. She stayed involved by becoming a non skating official. Dena is now training again and determined to get on the team but whilst she does she continues to help out by NSO-ing all over the country and even abroad.

Dena says:

"Everyone has to have a job in the league whether they skate or not and mine is being a non-skating official (NSO). Being an NSO means that you help the game run smoothly.

Roller Derby is very accepting of everybody and you don't need to be fit when you first start, they teach you from scratch and help you get fit and learn to play. Your body shape and size doesn't matter, there will be a place for you on the team. I don't like the gym and I don't like exercising, so roller derby sneaks it in as it is great fun. I train with a lot younger skaters and it is challenging but that is what makes it great.

All skaters must learn to be NSO's. It is a good way to get involved whether you skate, if you are injured or you don't want to skate. You can learn about the game and you get to meet a lot of new friends.

I have travelled all over being an NSO. I've been to Berlin for Track Queens, Belgium for Skate Odyssey and all over the UK to Eastborne Extreme, Manchester, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Cardiff and all over. I've also NSO-ed at the Men's World Cup!

I love roller derby and whilst I haven't been able to skate being an NSO has given me a way of staying; it keeps me dedicated.

Roller derby has given me determination not to quit! I have met an awful lot of people in Roller Derby I have friends all over."

Gill, Heidi Jam Peroxide, Roller Derby Referee.

Roller derby referee, Gill

Gill is affiliated with the North Cheshire Victory Rollersexternal-link but referees games all over the country. She started as a Roller Derby skater but after an injury (not skate related) she had to stop playing contact sports. Since becoming a referee she says her skating skills have improved and she understands the intricacies the game much better. It is a good way of being involved and part of the community without the risk of injury.

Gill says:

"I started skating when I was 7 but I had a rest for 27 years then I started roller derby again nearly 4 years ago. I was attracted to Roller Derby because I liked the idea of a strong game for women. I have had a go at a lot of sport but this was something different and strong; aggressive but stylish at the same time.

After I had to stop playing contact sports, becoming a referee was a great way of staying involved with the league, my friends, and to keep skating.

Being a referee keeps you fit and active because you have to skate at the same speed as the skaters. Sometimes faster! At first skating helps you keep fit and then you want to get fitter to become a better skate better.

The referee community is very strong, we are known as the zebras and we have our own support groups. But being a ref it's not 'us v them', some skaters choose to play and be a referee too.

I think refereeing is wonderful for people who want to be involved in the roller derby game but have reservations about playing, for whatever reason. As a ref you are a real part of the game - with seven refs to each game you definitely feel involved!

I'm in my 40's and I still want to be doing it when I am in my 70's. As long as I can put my skates on I will do it! I love it because it is a form of escapism and it's a very healthy atmosphere."

Katy, Shifty Shark #50, Skater

Roller derby skater, Katy

Katy is part of a junior roller derby league and has been skating 18 months, last week she played her fist competitive game. Through skating the 12 year old has grown in confidence and made friends of all ages. Katy skates for the Leeds Roller Dollsexternal-link junior league the Doll Factory, the skaters in the league are aged from 8 years old up to 18 years old. They play a modified version of roller derby that has the same rules as the adult game but uses positional blocking instead of full contact hits.

Katy say:

"I used to watch my mum play and I thought it seemed really fun. It was great to join a junior league and as soon as I started I loved it. The best bit is that it's fun and because it is team sport everyone can be involved. You can be tall or small it doesn't matter you just all work together.

I really love how you get to pick your own skate name. I chose my name because I used to cut the corner of the track and my team mates called me shifty, and shark is just cool.

I have made some good friends since starting Roller Derby I have become more confident and better at P.E. at school."

Katy's Mum Nicola Bob, n weave #71, Skater

Roller derby skater, Nicola

Nicola, is a mum of two and has been a roller derby skater for over six years. She skates with Halifax Bruising Banditasexternal-link Roller Derby. She has seen the sport change and grow but says it is still as exciting, engaging and addictive as when she first started.

Nicola says:

"I love roller derby because when you are on your skates you can feel the wind in your hair, it's great to do something different. It is really empowering and it's a reinforcement of the strength that we have.

The people involved are brilliant it's just such an encourage and inclusive environment. You get people from all walks of life, teachers, doctors and care workers; it just gives you a release a break away from the norm.

Playing roller derby makes you fitter but it makes you want to get fitter, go to the gym or go running so you can be better on your skates. But there's a lot of skill and tactics involved in the game along with the physical side.

Roller Derby has given my daughter confidence and made her feel more in control. I trust the coaches and they get the best from the team. I'm not sure if we'll ever skate against each other but she does a mean hip check that sends me flying!"

If you're interested in giving Roller Derby a go, take a look at our guide to get started and watch Roller Derby: Skate Fast, Hit Hard on iPlayer to find out why you should get involved!

Are you inspired to try Roller Derby? Or maybe you are an expert already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspiredexternal-link, visiting us on Facebookexternal-link or email us on

Top Stories