The Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) held its 2010 Grand Final this weekend. Proof positive that the sport is growing in leaps and bounds was evident over the weekend as the bout had been moved from the humble Puckhandlers Stadium, to the vast Melbourne Showgrounds.
The event was long sold-out, as has been the norm for the majority of the season, but it was great seeing it staged at such a venue and getting to feel the electricity and all-round good vibe from the 3-4,000 strong crowd.
Meticulously organised, I met my contact who provided me with my media-pass and instructions on the who, what, where and why of shooting the event.
There was a fun atmosphere from the get-go as there were various market stall holders selling their wares and various Roller Derby merchandise in a designated area of the arena.
I have attended 3-4 bouts throughout the course of 2010 and even in this short time-frame I have witnessed the sport grow and grow.
Opening proceedings for the night were VRDL team the Dead Ringer Rosies against Geelong’s Bloody Marys.
The bumps and grinds were plentiful even from the get-go and I noticed a scribe next to me in the allocated media section frantically Tweeting about the proceedings before her. Obviously this was her first bout and she was loving every minute of it if her eager Twitter fingers were any indication.
The Grand Final was played between the green-emblazoned Toxic Avengers and the black and gold wearing Dolls Au Go-Go.
The Toxics have been an exciting team to watch all year with thanks to the incredible jammer Kittie Von Krusher who is ably assisted by her cohorts such as Mandytory Punishment and the bombtastic Punami Tsunami.
The undefeated Dolls-Au-Go-Go have been the form side all year and even though they were heavily trailing the Avengers for most of the night, they staged an amazing comeback and if there was more time, might have well just pinched this ultra-exciting bout! The last couple of minutes were about as intense as I have ever seen.
The Dolls were on a comeback tear, the crowd’s enthusiasm had reached fever pitch and the pace on the arena floor was something to behold!
It was a sensational bout no doubt, and featured quite a few hits and spills. Sherribomb from the Toxic Avengers took a nasty bump and fall that resulted in what looked like concussion. She took no further part in the bout.
These gals mean business and it is a credit to their athleticism, stamina and outright ferocity on display for the fans to see.
Wow! What an amazingly fun year it has been watching and photographing it all from the sidelines.
Thank you to all the girls and Candy Rocks for all.
Dead Ringer Rosies (91) def Bloody Marys (68)
Toxic Avengers (111) def Dolls Au-Go-Go (94)