Wakefield’s roller derby league is going on tour to encourage more people to strap on their skates and get involved.
Wakey Wheeled Cats is the city’s original flat track roller derby league. Set up in 2009, the league held its first public bout at Dewsbury Sports Centre in summer 2010 and are looking forward to coming back to the town.
Next month they will leave their regular training home in the centre of Wakefield and visit Cleckheaton, Dewsbury and Castleford in attempt to reach out to a wider area.
The league’s recruitment officer Vicki Gray said: “The aim is to spread our practices further afield to show people what roller derby and the Wakey Wheeled Cats are all about. To come back to Dewsbury, where we held our first ever bout, will be very special. We’ve always had members from Dewsbury and North Kirklees, so it’s going to great for them to be playing on their home turf.”
Roller derby is a full-contact, fast-paced sport played on quad roller skates. Teams of skaters are pitted against each other with jammers scoring points for passing opposing skaters, while blockers attempt to stop them.
Big hits are common but teams of referees ensure the players stick by the rules.
The Cats is a female, 18+ league, but men interested in refereeing are invited to come along, as are those interested in non-skating volunteer roles. The open sessions will be split into two, half will be a normal practice session where people can get a taste of what is involved, and then they will be able to strap on some skates and give it a try themselves.
Captain and co-founder Kirsty Quinn said: “When we started the team we wanted it to be attractive to women who hadn’t been involved in a team sport before. It’s female-dominated, great for fitness but also provides a strong social network, which is perfect for people who want to try something new.”
“Anyone who wants to join is taught to skate safely in a 16-week beginners programme. And if anyone wants to get involved but not necessarily in the competitive side, they can join us as referees or volunteers.”
The Wheeled Cats have competed across the country and after taking a break from competition to boost numbers, are looking forward to public competition again in the autumn. The league has also recently paired up with Wakefield’s rugby league team Wakefield Wildcats to boost awareness and interest in the all-female sport.
Vicki added: “It’s a really exciting time for the Cats at the moment, the perfect time for people to join.”
The Cats’ tour starts at Castleford’s Lock Lane Sports Centre on August 3, then goes on to Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre, Cleckheaton on August 10 and Dewsbury Sports Centre on August 17. It will be followed by a bout at Wakefield’s Lightwaves Leisure Centre on August 31.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/WakeyWheeledCats or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register an interest.