Alex Proctor, Kyla McKim-Hill, Grace Johnstone and guest coach Paul Campbell at the Gladstone Roller Derby junior workshop on Saturday.
Alex Proctor, Kyla McKim-Hill, Grace Johnstone and guest coach Paul Campbell at the Gladstone Roller Derby junior workshop on Saturday. Jessica Perkins

PHOTOS: Players get wisdom from Aussie player and top coach

ROLLER DERBY: Gladstone Roller Derby players, from seniors to juniors, soaked up the advice from Victorian Roller Derby League coach Paul Campbell.

Gladstone PCYC Roller Derby (GRD) hosted an intense two-day boot camp with Campbell aka Sausarge Rolls or Sarge for short.

He is one of Roller Derby Australia's elite male athletes and coaches.

Now based in Melbourne, Campbell is the current Wizards of Oz (men's national) team captain, Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) All Stars (women's) coach and one of the women's national team coaches.

"GRD were able to lure Sarge to Central Queensland after two local derby skaters, Brett Mckim-Hill and Daniel Tidd, had the opportunity to play on the Tasmanian Brawlers team with him in Perth at last years Men's National Championship," PCYC GRD League president Melinda Barrett said.

"Thanks to Brett's tenacity and with the help of Gladstone PCYC and GRD roller disco fund-raising, they were able to lock in the training weekend for the first weekend of spring."

With more than 12 hours of hard work, led by Campbell, the Gladstone juniors and adults were pushed beyond their limits to learn new skills and strategy.

Saturday began with a three-hour junior workshop which saw the Hornets team learn valuable techniques to become stronger and smarter players, maximising teamwork and individual skating skills.

The children spontaneously added a jumping practice in the break and a game of red rover with Campbell to finish their morning.

Saturday afternoon was the adults turn and four hours of intense skating drills, new skills and learning how to work smarter as a team, not harder.

"Sarge even invited several junior skaters to take the challenge of training with the adults after he saw their potential earlier in the day," Barrett said.

Skaters from the Rockhampton and Bundaberg regions joined GRD for a five-hour session jam-packed with more high-quality coaching followed by game play scrimmage on Sunday.

"I'm so proud of our little league and everyone gave per cent on the weekend," Thomas said.

With twice-weekly training and uncompromising determination, GRD aim to unleash their new skills at the Rockhampton Knocktoberfest ladies roller derby event in October.

The men will then take to the track with the Brawlers at the Men's Nationals in Brisbane in November.

Contact Gladstone PCYC GRD through their Facebook page for more information and new players are welcome.



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