Good times roll for derby team

Mixing it up on the roller derby rink are (from left) Elton ‘Hellton’ Christiansen, Geoff ‘Hebegb’ Brown, Darren ‘The Stig’ Beckett, (right) Gerard ‘Ged-i’ Nelson, Dennis ‘Menace’ Kapitany and Andrew ‘G-man’ Gall.
Mixing it up on the roller derby rink are (from left) Elton ‘Hellton’ Christiansen, Geoff ‘Hebegb’ Brown, Darren ‘The Stig’ Beckett, (right) Gerard ‘Ged-i’ Nelson, Dennis ‘Menace’ Kapitany and Andrew ‘G-man’ Gall. Sarah Harvey

A RAG-TAG bunch of men are showing they have what it takes to roll with the hits in what is traditionally a women's game.

Roller derby was revived as a women's sport in Texas in 2000 with an emphasis on female empowerment and a grassroots ethos.

But the punk attitude and gorgeous variety of women who play roller derby quickly caught the eye of a couple of curious men.

Often, men interested in derby will train to become referees or coaches, but Ipswich is leading the way with some of the nation's first male roller derby skaters.

Dubbing their sport “merby”, short for men's derby, the men train with Ipswich's roller derby team – the Brisbane City Rollers (BCR) – at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

The league is already unusual in that it is co-ed, but BCR gathered enough male skaters to hold an all-male bout.

Relishing the opportunity, the merby skaters held a special match in the intermission of BCR's friends and family bout on Sunday, with the Frankies beating the Uppercuts 36 to 28.

The women's teams – the Missfits and the City Sirens – also competed, with the Missfits taking the match 125 to 100 points.

The Missfits led most of the game but the Sirens were never far behind, often trailing by three points. The Missfits will go on to a bout Toowoomba in May.

Gerard Nelson, also known by his merby alias Ged-I, said he was attracted to derby as a sport which mixed skill, strategy and stamina.

“It's great fun to watch and even more fun to play, and the sense of community around derby is fantastic,” Mr Nelson said.

Mr Nelson, 38, said the men's game tended to be “faster and a bit more aggressive”.

Elton Christiansen said he was initially attracted to the skating element of the sport.

Mr Christiansen, who is married to a BCR derby skater, said his male friends were often curious about derby girls and “therefore curious about derby”.

“When I mention merby they still want to talk about the female aspect of the sport,” Mr Christiansen, also known as Hellton, said.

Mr Christiansen said the men's version was more “smash ‘em up”.

The BCR merby teams hope to travel to Melbourne to compete against the Moustachio Nuts later this year, and have more demo bouts in the pipeline.

Burglar wakes Summit couple

COUPLE woken in early hours when they saw a man leave their bedroom.

Car destroyed after it was left on roadside engulfed in fire

CAR FIRE: Firefighters from Sawtell were called to a burning Ford Falcon left on the side of Hulberts Rd, Sawtell on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

WATCH: Firefighters tackle car blaze late last night

Rubbish truck's load catches alight

A J.R. Richards and Sons rubbish truck container caught alight on the Pacific Highway.

Fire in skip bin causes traffic hold ups

Local Partners

To the stranger who Photoshopped my picture

MIRANDA agreed to have her photo taken with her mum in a jewellery store. When she logged onto Instagram the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Don't delay: this test could save your life

LIFE-SAVING: Rob Patch is on a mission to convince people to have their sleep apnoea checked in order to prevent an early death.

"The doctors said I had come there to die.”

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

former Australian cricketer’s first car was an HT Holden wagon.

Russia’s seedy ‘virginity trade’

On Russian social media, young girls and women are being recruited to sell their virginity to wealthy men. Picture: The Sun

Girls as young as 17 sell their virginity

Cancer teen married two days before death

19-year-old cancer patient Lydia Dominguez married her boyfriend Joshua Ordonez just two days before she died.

Teen with cancer dies after getting married two days earlier

Dad’s shock: ‘I was told I was a paedophile’

Karl Pollard was taking his daughter Stephanie to visit her sick grandmother. Picture: SWNS/Mega

Hotel apologises after wrongly accusing innocent dad of paedophilia