Life is Swede for the homegrown heroes of Glasgow Roller Derby

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SWEDEN and Scotland will go wheel to wheel in Glasgow next week in an all-female, all-action roller derby bout which aims to showcase all that’s amazing about the popular sport.

Glasgow Roller Derby’s A-team – the Irn Bruisers – will line up against the Stockholm Allstars on Sunday, August 11 at the ARC Sports Centre.

The Scandinavian sensations are out to prove just how massive roller derby has become in Sweden and beyond.

The first roller derby league in Scandinavia, Stockholm Roller Derby was founded in 2007 – the same year as Glasgow, Scotland’s first roller derby team.

It promises to be an amazing clash between Stockholm Allstars and the Irn Bruisers – both of whom are ranked in the top 10 in Europe.

After a sterling showing at the recent ECDX tournament in Philadelphia, USA, Glasgow’s Irn Bruisers have taken a giant leap in the world rankings. The Bruisers are currently nestling at 97 – with Stockholm on 121.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Roller Derby (GRD) said: “This promises to be an exciting clash between two excellent teams. The Bruisers are flying high after superb performances at ECDX, while the Swedish skaters will be determined to show Scotland just how they roll.

“It’s going to be awesome and we advise you to get your tickets now before they sell out. Visit and pick up your ticket for only £5 in advance (under-14s free).

“This will also be the first time the Bruisers have played in Scotland since their momentous debut in Philadelphia so it’s a great chance for all the fans and fellow league members to welcome them back in true GRD style.”

* Roller derby - a colourful collision of roller skates, racing and rivalries - has its origins in the 1930s, but it was revived as an all-female sport in Texas in the early 2000s.

Glasgow Roller Girls, as they were known originally, were the first flat-track roller derby league to be established in Scotland, in April 2007.

Since then Glasgow Roller Derby, as they are now known, have sped from strength to strength - playing internationals, securing a top five spot in Europe and organising their own tournaments.

Despite growing in popularity and stature every year, the club – which has around 100 members – remains fiercely proud of its DIY ethic. Everyone involved in the club is a volunteer.

Roller derby is deceptively simple, but cunningly strategic – there is one scorer (called a jammer) for each team on track. It is their job to juke their way through the four opposition blockers, skate round the track and start to lap the opposing players.

For every player she overtakes, the jammer scores a point. It is a full-contact sport but there are very specific rules. You can’t elbow or hit anyone with a forearm, knee, kick or shove an opponent, or plough full tilt into someone’s back.

Similarly, if you are blocking, you are not allowed to hold onto opposition players or link arms to hold them back. However, you can use your shoulders, hips and upper body to force your way through or knock someone off course.

Thrills and spills are a given in roller derby and all the girls are equipped with mouth guard, helmet, elbow guards, wrist pads and knee pads to prevent injury. That doesn’t stop bruises, aching muscles and split lips – but it does prevent more serious injury.

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