On Saturday, November 23rd Bass Straight Brawlers will fly to Melbourne to take on Vanguard in the Victoria’s first men’s roller derby bout. This match up will mark a milestone for both sides as neither has previously played as a team.
In an effort to raise funds for the Brawler’s travel expenses, Tasmanian Men’s Roller Derby hosted a 24 hour skate-a-thon at the local rink in Launceston. Four skaters from TasMRD strapped on skates at 3pm Saturday and skated the whole way through till 3pm Sunday, with only small breaks for drinks and food along the way. To encourage sponsorship of the skaters, some members of the Tasmanian derby community put forth some truly embarrassing challenges for the men folk in exchange for generous donations. What started as a polite public skating session deteriorated quickly as the sun’s warm rays went down and the challenges began. Sponsor began to produce outfits the men had never before seen the likes of, as spectators flocked to the scene like children to the fairs of old.
There was dancing, there was underwear hockey and there were many a wet sock and blistered foot. All of which were indecently captured and shared all over Facebook. The four Brawlers were unable to hold their head high after being so violated – only Thor seemed to enjoy the experience, perhaps taking too much of a liking to fishnets and women’s clothing.
It was a constant struggle for the lonely crew to keep rolling through the wee hours of the morning. To get through it, a number of bizarre and dangerous games were invented, one involved belting a hockey puck at a ramp at someone down the other end and hoping they would catch it with their hands and not their head.
The resident ramp skater chucked on his aggressive inlines and demonstrated how to jump really high!
The 24 hours ended with a public skate session, the Brawlers feeling tired and grumpy were forced to negotiate the hordes of scooter kids attempting to break their shins. Out of no where a blast of energy came across the Brawlers who were determined to finish the marathon with style. Unfortunately for two of them, the increase in speed caused an explosion of hot wetness and searing pain as blisters were torn apart within their skates. The last 30 minutes was a heartwarming scene as the Brawlers pulled together as a team and literally pushed/pulled their injured comrades across the finish line.
All in all, the Brawlers put on a good show and proved their determination. TasMRD will become a force within Australian Men’s Roller Derby, so watch out Vanguard.Photo credits: Jennifer Hepburn
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