Action-packed roller derby tournament coming to Northampton this year
A Moulton Park sports centre will host teams from across Europe during a two-day roller derby event.
Benham Sports Arena will host ten games of the quick-paced sport in February as part of the Turing Cup.
Teams competing in the tournament, including from Amsterdam, Namur and Madrid are all part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
A local team, Rebellion roller derby, will be competing for the Turing Cup on Saturday February 21 and Sunday February 22, after playing a huge role in organising the event.
With strong links to Milton Keynes and wanting to continue their proud affiliation with the LGBTQ+ community, Rebellion decided to name the cup after code-breaker and LGBTQ+ icon, Alan Turing.
Harriet Drury, Rebellion member and tournament organiser, said: “This tournament is a fantastic opportunity for all involved and will provide local players with the chance to compete in a high level tournament with international teams and raise awareness of this growing sport.
"It’s a great event to showcase both the sport and the charities we are supporting within the local community and a great weekend of entertainment for both new spectators and long term derby lovers.
"Roller derby is a great sport that offers everyone an opportunity to get involved and supports a positive and inclusive environment."
During the weekend, there will also be an exhibition game showcasing the best junior talent of the sport, as well as off-track stalls and refreshments from independent vendors.
What is roller derby?
Roller derby is an athletic, fast-paced, high adrenaline sport played on quad roller skates on an oval shaped track.
Each game comprises of two 30 minute periods, in which each round lasts up to two minutes and is known as a 'jam.'
During a jam, five skaters from each team, ten in total, take to the track. One is a 'jammer,' identified by the star on their helmet, and is responsible for scoring points. The other four skaters are known as 'blockers', they try to stop the opposing jammer from passing them while also playing offence for their own jammer.
At the start of each jam, jammers compete to be the first to pass all the blockers on track and achieve 'lead jammer.'
Once jammers have completed the first qualifying pass of the pack, they then score one point every time they lap an opposition blocker. The lead jammer can end a jam early by repeatedly tapping their hips.
The A-team captain for Rebellion said: "Here at Rebellion we have teachers, public service workers, mums, students, women and non-binary people from all different backgrounds.
"Many of us didn’t skate or take part in sports before finding roller derby, but that doesn’t matter, as we teach new members everything from how to skate, to how to fall safely during game play."
Can I go to watch the roller derby at Benham?
The Turing Cup is open to the public and you are advised to buy tickets in advance.
A two-day pass if £30 and a one-day pass is £15. Under 14s go free.