Watford's Janice Starkey is hoping a home crowd will help Hertfordshire’s Hell’s Belles roller derby team overcome one of their local rivals this month.
Hell’s Belles take on Bedfordshire Roller Girls at Sportspace in Hemel Hempstead on August 16 as part of a double header, which will also see Eastbourne’s Bourne Bombshells face the Norfolk Brawds.
The teams are competing in the Heartland Series, which is Europe’s largest interleague for women’s flat track roller derby. There are 24 teams from England and Wales, which are divided into four regional divisions, which play against each other throughout the year for a chance to be crowned Heartland Champions.
Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members who roller skate in the same direction around a track. The contest consists of a series of short match-ups where both teams designate a scoring player who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
Roller derby is a growing sport and was considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Starkey, who has been training with the team since September 2012, said: “I wanted to try something new so I signed up for a beginner course and fell in love with the sport. It’s a really exciting game to play and it’s amazing to see how fast the sport is growing.”