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Newport Centre, Sat 15 Jan

Words: RYAN HEEGER photos:

An announcement echoing through the Newport Centre that we all needed to “budge up as people are looking for seats” gave a good indication that this event was pretty much sold out, as a raucous grandstand of families, friends, colleagues and the curious welcomed the Tiger Bay Brawlers and Bristol Harbour Harlots into the circular arena for what was Wales’s first ever public roller derby.

Two teams of young ladies of various skating abilities – and sporting varying volumes of tattoos – are split into blockers (four per team) and jammers (one per team). The blockers go on the first whistle, then on the second the jammers race to try to make their way past the blockers. Points are totted for number of blockers passed by jammers on subsequent laps.

There is a healthy element of tongue-in-cheek, with the girls all using wordplay monikers like Peril Flynn and LoKill Hero, and our wisecracking commentators for the evening made a point of reprimanding anyone sent to the sin bin.

As a new team at their first bout, the Brawlers excelled. An early lead set the benchmark thanks to some lightning jamming from Boba Fettish and Billie Pistol, with the Harlots getting a stomping that brought the final score to 173-37.

If you want to be in the audience for the next bout on Sat 6 Feb, keep tabs on their website. If you fancy becoming a member, the Brawlers are holding tryouts at Cogan Leisure Centre on Sat 5 March.


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  • Judith Joyce

    What a fantastic night, amazing fun and enjoyment to be had by all. Real edge of your seat stuff, even if you're not fully acquainted with the rules of Roller Derby you can't help but be caught up in the excitement of it all. Can't wait for next bout, hope to make it to Manchester on 6 Feb. Read the programme, watched the bout, bought the t-shirt, excellent. .

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