SOOZIE Slugworth’s skating career began at the Mandurah skating rink as a teenager and now she is a blocker for the Dread Pirate Rollers.
Soozie, aka Susanne, said before roller derby she was living in suburbia and felt like something was missing in her life.
“Before I went to training, I wanted to see if I still knew how to skate and I went along to a training session and it was like a dream sequence – like I had forgotten who I was and then remembered,” she said.
“I was living in suburbia and no one was like me – they were all worried about things like buying a new 4WD – and at the first training session I thought these people are like me.”
“Fresh meat” is the name derby girls give new skaters and Soozie says they arrive every week for training.
“Nearly all of them stick around; the fresh meat have three sessions to see if they like it and then they need to sign up to the team and insurance. Most of them try it once and never look back,” she said.
When faced with criticism that the game was too violent, Soozie said it was not as violent as rugby or football.
“Contact is only allowed between the shoulder and the knee, plus it is the fastest growing sport in the world,” she said.
The next WA Roller Derby (WARD) match is Block to the Future on October 8 at Midvale Speed Dome. Roller Derby tutorials are on YouTube and enthusiasts can visit the Dread Pirates’ Facebook fan page.