Name: Lyndsey Boulton (aka Kid)
Profession: Marketing & Events Manager
Favourite Activity: Roller Derby
1. What is roller derby?
Roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world! It’s a contact sport played on quad roller skates where opponents skate counter-clockwise around an oval track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (”jams”) in which both teams field five members. Each team designate a scoring player (the ”jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The “blockers” simultaneously play defence and offence at the same time, by trying to stop the opposing jammer from passing them while also helping their jammer through the “pack” of skaters.
2. How did you get involved?
A friend of mine was one of the founding members of the first Welsh roller derby team – the Tiger Bay Brawlers. Just the idea of it sounded so fascinating, and unlike anything I’d ever heard about before. I was at a place in my life where I needed a focus and something to really throw myself into. I went to the first session unsure of how i’d feel about it, and I knew nothing about the sport – and then the very next day I bought my first pair of roller skates – I was hooked from day 1.
3. What is so good about it and why would you encourage other women to give it a go?
Roller derby, and the community that surrounds it, is one of the most supportive and uplifting environments I’ve ever been a part of. As a DIY womens sport, run by its members, there is a ‘we’re all in this together’ type of vibe, that binds you together and makes you work hard for each other – both on and off the track. My confidence and self belief have both massively increased by playing roller derby, i’ve travelled around the world, met incredible people, and I’m a stronger and more understanding person overall.
4. Did you have any skating experience before you started? Have you played any other sports before?
I hadn’t skated at all before (other than as a 8 year old up and down the garden path a couple of times), so I was a complete rookie. Luckily Tiger Bay, and most roller derby leagues, will teach you not only how to play roller derby – but also how to skate! So you don’t need to have any background when joining a derby team, we’ll teach you everything. I did play some sport in high school, long distance running and athletics mainly, but I totally lost interest as I got older. Roller derby is the only sport that really inspired me and made me want to continue to improve.
5. Any tips for women thinking about starting roller derby?
Do it! I can’t underestimate how welcoming and supportive the roller derby community is. You don’t need experience, or even roller skates – we’ll take care of you, and you will find a place in roller derby. If you live in South Wales, my team, the Tiger Bay Brawlers are holding a recruitment day on March 1st at Penarth Leisure Centre – this is open for people wanting to try out for the team (who have experience of roller derby) and for those people who just really want to come along and see what it’s all about. So join us, come along and see if it’s for you! I promise you, you won’t regret it.