By Paige Freshwater
A former Liverpool John Moores University student has skated her way into the England roller derby squad.
After joining the Liverpool Roller Birds, Becky Currie, 27, known as Becky Ruckus on the track, has been selected to play alongside her roller derby idols in this year’s Team England training squad.
Not yet believing her success, the 27-year-old admitted that before joining the Liverpool Roller Birds she did not know how to skate and that she never imagined that she “would actually make it into the training squad.”
Becky told The Burble: “I first joined the Liverpool Roller Birds ‘hatchlings’ intake in September 2012.
“I liked the idea of the game and it looked like a lot of fun. Being a ‘hatchling’ is all about the training to pass your minimum skills requirement to officially become a ‘bird’, and be eligible to start playing the game. They taught me everything, including how to skate.
“I was completely thrown back when I found out I was selected for the training squad. I had absolutely no idea that they would pick me, I couldn’t sleep that night at all!”
The fast-paced game of roller derby is played by two teams of five women on quad roller skates. It is a full-contact sport so players must wear protective clothing as it can get wild.
The women, in a serious of countdown jams, skate around a flat indoor oval track using tactics and planning to try and score points against the opposing team.
In this fast and furious game, there are four blockers who skate ahead of their point-scoring jammer and create a human wall. It is the job of the blockers to hold back the other team’s jammer while allowing theirs to freely pass by.
When the whistle blows, the jammers try to skate their way through the pack of blockers and out the other side and with every opposing player she passes she is awarded one point. The game moves fast, so the jammer wears a star on her helmet to make her standout to players and supporters.
It is not uncommon for a blocker to knock down opposing players to make room for their jammer to pass on by and score a point. This is actually a crucial aspect of the game and for that reason roller derby is strictly for 18-year-olds and over.
When speaking about her future in the full-contact sport, Becky said: “I am just so excited for what is around the corner. I am going to learn so much.
“I’ll be skating as a rookie with all my heroes who I’ve been watching for years, which is mad.
“It’s going to be hard work but I’m starting from now. I’m preparing myself physically and mentally.”
Currently roller derby is played by around 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, and the Liverpool Roller Birds proudly hold the title for the city’s first roller derby league.
The club currently has two teams of skater girls, which are the Sisters of Mersey and the Yellow Shovemarines.
Becky joined the team four years ago as ‘fresh meat’ and when giving advice to aspiring skater girls, she said: “To anyone starting out the best advice I can give to them is to work hard and take your time.
“You’re learning something so new and different that nothing is really going to click straight away, even if you see people progressing ahead, you learn in your own time.
“You cannot learn something if you don’t practice it. Be dedicated and you will be re-paid. When everything does click you will know about it and it is such a good feeling.”