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Cambridge Rollerbillies pick up pace for return to the track

Cambridge Rollerbillies are returning to action after a two-year hiatus. Picture: Ben Valsler (57744980)
Cambridge Rollerbillies are returning to action after a two-year hiatus. Picture: Ben Valsler (57744980)

Cambridge Rollerbillies will be making a return to court after a two-year break this Saturday (July 9).

The nature of the roller derby is that it is a full-contact sport, so it became impossible to play during the social distancing rules applied throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

With no games and no training, many roller derby teams struggled to survive and many have hung up their skates for good.

But Cambridge Rollerbillies maintained their team spirit through virtual channels.

“We ran regular fitness sessions over video call, had virtual socials and started a buddy system to make sure everyone had a Rollerbillie to reach out to at such a tough time,” explained team captain Donna Orbell, “eventually, we were skating outside when the rules – and weather! – allowed us to.

“Roller derby is a huge part of our lives and it was really important to us to maintain the league, even when we couldn’t be getting sweaty together in a sports hall.

“We took the time to consider what roller derby might look like post-pandemic and made the decision to condense Romsey Town Rollerbillies and the Punt Rockers into a single team. It was the perfect opportunity to develop a new uniform in line with our core branding and bring unity to the league.”

The new kit has been designed and supplied by US company Frogmouth, and the team will play their first match in the design this weekend. They will be facing Nottingham Roller Derby at Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre from 1pm to 5pm.

Orbell added: “We’ve waited so long to get back to the sport we love.

“We’re hoping to get together lots of former members and friends of the league for the game. Plus it’s Cambridge Pride that day, so it’s going to be a really big party. It could get emotional!”

There will be two matches on the day, with Cambridge Rollerbillies’ clash with Nottingham, and a ‘rookie ruckus’ that will see new and returning skaters battle it out for victory.

It is a family-friendly event, which will include stalls, raffle and DJs.

Tickets cost £5, while under-16s go free, with the doors opening at 1pm.

For more ticket information, visit bpt.me/4247668.

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