Nicola ready to ‘rough it’ after passing her roller derby initiation

Nicola Brooke, back row, middle, with her Cambridge Rollerbillies colleagues Nicola Brooke, back row, middle, with her Cambridge Rollerbillies colleagues

Thursday, July 3, 2014
5:08 PM

Roller Derby

When Nicola Brooke was persuaded to dust off her roller skates after 20 years, she was determined that she wouldn’t do things the easy way.

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So, instead of signing up for fun skating sessions or simply skating along the streets, Nicola, 42, from Ely, decided to sign up for roller derby training with the Cambridge Rollerbillies.

Roller derby is a high-octane contact sport in which teams of five competitors skate in the same direction around a circular track – attempting to score points and prevent the opposing team from scoring points at the same time.

The sport has a reputation for being decidedly hands-on and injuries are common.

But Nicola, a freelance secretary by day, was undaunted and signed up for the team’s two-month ‘fresh meat’ course.

She said: “The training was very rigorous and the warm up alone is hard work but it is worth it. I also trained twice a in Ely, at the Paradise Centre.

“Most of my fellow ‘freshies’ had either not skated before or had not skated for many years so at first it was very hard work indeed and we spent much of our time falling down.

“I have had some injuries already; some very bad bruises and a badly torn quad ligament but as a derby player, you have to get used to quite a lot of injury and pain but you just have to get up fast and carry on, if you can.

“Broken bones are somewhat common but it is a risk that roller derby players take to take part in this amazing sport.”

After successfully passing her course, Nicola will shortly begin full-contact training ahead of taking part in her first competitive match later this year. More information about the Cambridge Rollerbillies can be found at:



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