The Warriors of Women's Roller Derby

Let me see your game face...

Right around the time of International Women’s Day, I recently had the pleasure of photographing the new team head shots for Leeds Roller Derby Team.

One of the fastest growing sports in the world, roller derby is a contact sport on roller skates played on an elliptical track usually in a sports hall or arena. The ‘jammers’ score points by lapping members of the opposing team and ‘blockers’ have to stop them. The action is fast-paced, exciting skating with the athletic teams pitted against each other using tactical teamwork, stunning skating skills and strategic physical contact to win bouts and battles. Roller derby is known for its empowering effects on skaters of all body shapes & sizes, genders (and non-genders), orientations, races and backgrounds - fostering a welcoming community to grow self-confidence, friendships and personal achievements whilst competing in a fun and engaging team sport. 

The Leeds Roller Derby Team have their sights set high. Aiming to compete at the highest level against the best teams in the world, in championship tournaments organised by the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) whose games are now being aired on ESPN. Leeds Roller Derby Team is training their athletes to rise up the world rankings - facing off with teams both locally across the U.K. and internationally in Europe and the USA, heading for the bright lights of the big arenas.

Even with such lofty heights, roller derby is extremely welcoming to new skaters, even if they’ve never put on skates before. Leeds Roller Derby Team is no exception, holding regular intake sessions for budding new skaters to get started learning how to manoeuvre on four wheels as well as all the ins and outs of playing the exciting game of roller derby. If you’d prefer not to be in the heat of competing, you can still train as a skating referee or participate without actually being on skates as an NSO (Non-Skating Official). The atmosphere at roller derby games is electric, so even as a spectator it’s an addictive sport to get into, with many building a whole new circle of friendships both on and off the track.

Big thanks to the Leeds Roller Derby Team for inviting me along to photograph this session of portraits, and for putting on their ‘game faces’ - it was a blast!

Here are a few images from the shoot…