HUGE SEASON-OPENER: Gladstone PCYC Roller Derby skaters Sandy de Roode (left, in black) and Lainey McPhee (right) are out to stop Mara Pattison-Sowden.
HUGE SEASON-OPENER: Gladstone PCYC Roller Derby skaters Sandy de Roode (left, in black) and Lainey McPhee (right) are out to stop Mara Pattison-Sowden. Luka Kauzlaric

Oh man! Co-ed derby team to add more punch

THINK girls in fishnets and roller skates are entertaining? Then Gladstone Roller Derby can't wait for you to meet its men!

Gladstone Roller Derby is unveiling its new co-ed team in its huge season-opener at Gladstone PCYC on March 21.

And while the full-contact sport has always been high-intensity, league spokeswoman 'Ale Mary' Bolling said the blokes make the competition more hard-hitting than ever.

"It's definitely more brutal, and the speed is a lot more explosive - but the boys still have a lot to learn from our girls who have been playing for years, and have a lot more strategy going on," she said.

The Haul Stars - named for Gladstone's heavy hauling port - made their debut in Toowoomba on February 14, against the Quad Squad, chalking up a whopping 226-52 win.

While roller derby is traditionally a women's sport, the past few years have seen men get involved, with Australia recently winning the Men's Roller Derby World Cup.

And blokes have been involved in Gladstone Roller Derby since the beginning, strapping on skates to referee, and as coaching support.

The Haul Stars includes many of the female Hustlers, including crowd favourites Slayer Swift, Duncan Manutz and Blackout Menace.

But the March 22 bout, against the North Queensland Muff N Men, will be the first time the girls share the on-track spotlight, and new male skater Capt Kamizaki.

"The Muff N Men have been playing as a team for a couple of years, and they have some pretty hefty guys - so I'm expecting the biggest cheering when one of our girls decks them," Bolling said.

The bout will also be the first public appearance of Gladstone's Junior Roller Derby skaters.

The bout will also feature music, MCs, a licensed bar, food and market stalls, in a great night out for the whole family.

Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door from 5.30pm on Saturday, March 21 at Gladstone PCYC.



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