For some women, being considered to be demure is a crowning virtue. For the women involved in Sydney's Roller Derby scene, however, the biggest virtue is the ability to elbow your enemy in the face while careening around a stadium at break-neck speeds.
Since the release of "Whip It!", defined by the sight of Drew Barrymore elbowing her opposition in the face, interest in Roller Derby has increased exponentially. Created as both a contact sport and entertainment sport, Roller Derby involves roller skating around a circular track in formation and attempting to outstrip the opposing team.
As a full-body contact sport, the predominantly female players are required to wear mouth-guards, helmets, shin pads and elbow pads. Apart from these protective regulations, there are no uniforms, but rather a variety of brightly-coloured costumes.
Although the precise rules of roller derby tend to be sacrificed at the altar of show(wo)manship, there are certain rules. While the majority of the players must stay in formation, goal scorers, or "jammers", aim to lap the opposition team.
As a comparatively new activity for Sydneysiders, there are only two main leagues. The first, and most well-known, is the Sydney Roller Derby League. Established in 2007, the Sydney Roller Derby League boasts 90 members and had a full competitive season in 2009.
For the so-called "Fresh Meat", the Sydney Roller Derby League offers beginners training. After the first two sessions, which covers such vital information as stance and "how to fall", there will be an entry level assessment before skaters are accepted into the League. Men are also welcome to work as skating referees, commentators and bout officials.
The other main team is the Western Sydney Rollers, who train two nights a week on Tuesday and Sunday. On Tuesday nights, from 7 - 9pm at the Penrith PCYC, "Fresh Meat" are offered skills training sessions.
With various bouts and scrimmages in both central and Western Sydney, it is possible to enjoy roller derby as both a participant and spectator. In fact, it may be safer to stick to spectating. Although there are various links provided on the websites of the two main leagues, tickets are also available through .